Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that a new law authored to strengthen New York State’s ban on dangerous drop-side cribs takes effect this Sunday, October 27th. The law, which was signed by Governor Cuomo on September 27th, expands the state’s existing drop-side crib ban to prohibit drop-side cribs from being used at day care centers and child-care facilities and ensures that New York’s law conforms with federal regulations.
“Drop-side cribs have caused tragedies here in New York and across the country, which is why New York State and the federal government banned them from being sold or manufactured. Expanding the law so that these dangerous cribs are not used in day care centers and child care facilities will further protect children from harm,” said Senator Fuschillo.
New York State banned the sale, import, manufacture, and distribution of drop-side cribs throughout the State under a 2010 law sponsored by Senator Fuschillo. The federal government followed with their own ban on drop-side cribs which took effect in 2011. Malfunctioning drop-side cribs have been blamed for a number of deaths and injuries to children, including on Long Island.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the hardware on a drop-side crib can often break or malfunction, causing the drop-side to detach and create a space between the drop-side and crib mattress. Infants and toddlers can roll into this space and become entrapped and suffocate, or sustain serious injury if the drop-side detaches completely. Safety concerns led to millions of cribs being taken out of circulation through CPSC product recalls.
The new law expands New York’s law to prohibit drop-side cribs from being used in child care facilities. The law also ensures that New York’s law conforms with federal rules which prohibit drop-side cribs from being used in child care facilities. New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is in the process of notifying child care facilities and providing them information in plain, non-technical language that will allow them to identify drop-side and other cribs deemed unsafe by the CPSC. Child care facilities and day care centers have until December 28th to remove the cribs. OCFS will also notify facilities when they apply for a child care license or registration.
Michele Witte of Merrick, whose infant son Tyler died when he became entrapped by the drop-side of his crib, strongly supports the law. Mrs. Witte said “Drop-side cribs are dangerous and should not be used anywhere, period. They took away my son’s life and the lives of children across the country. This law is another step forward to protect children and prevent other families from enduring the pain my family feels every single day. Thank you to Senator Fuschillo and New York State for passing this law to protect our children.”