Drop Side Cribs Banned in New York

This Friday, New York State Governor David Patterson signed legislation on a state-wide ban on <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">drop side cribs, wrote Empire State News. Sale, import, manufacture, and distribution of drop side cribs is banned in NY state under the new legislation, making NY the ninth state to prohibit sales of the dangerous cribs, wrote Empire State news.

Drop side cribs became popular because they allow caregivers to easily access the beds. Unfortunately, poor design, poorly written assembly directions, or broken pieces can all cause the side rail to fall unexpectedly, or separate from the rest of the bed, creating an entrapment hazard, which can lead to strangulation or suffocation.

Nine million drop side cribs have been recalled over the past five years because of such risks. In May, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) warned parents to stop using such cribs.

Defective drop side cribs, said Empire State News, have been the cause of a number of deaths of and injuries to children. Over the past nine years, 32 infant and toddler deaths have been blamed on drop side crib strangulation defects, said Empire State News, citing New York State’s Consumer Protection Board; 14 additional deaths are also believed to have been caused by drop side cribs.

“The tragic death of infants throughout the nation and right here in New York State, is something we had to stop,” said State Senator Stephen Saland (R,I,C-Poughkeepsie), Ranking Member of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, and sponsor of the bill, quoted Empire State News. “I am pleased to see that these defective cribs will not be on the marketplace.”

According to the CPSC, drop side cribs have been implicated in 153 deaths in the past four years. Earlier this summer, the agency approved a proposal to ban such cribs.

The emerging rules ban the sale of new and used drop side cribs and prohibit their use in hotels, day-care centers, and other commercial facilities, and were approved by the CPSC in 5-0 vote. The approval of new mandatory standards marks the agency’s first overhaul of regulations for infant beds in almost three decades.

A statement from the CPSC issued in June said its staff is working to finalize the proposed mandatory crib standards in 2010.

Late last year, crib manufacturers did vote to phase out the sale of drop side cribs, but the action is voluntary. According to a prior Associated Press report, some retailers, including Babies R Us and Wal-Mart, have taken them off sale floors. But the cribs—both new and used—continue to be sold at a variety of retail outlets and online.

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