U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (AR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Commissioner Robert Adler from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), today joined consumer advocates in applauding the first day that tough new federal standards for cribs go into effect.
The new, mandatory standards will stop the manufacture and sale of traditional drop-side cribs. In addition, the standard requires stronger mattress supports, more durable hardware and rigorous safety testing. The standards were mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), legislation spearheaded by Pryor that enacted sweeping product safety reforms to prevent dangerous products from entering the marketplace. In May 2010, Senator Gillibrand launched an effort in Congress to ban all drop-side cribs, including in daycare centers and hotels, introducing legislation in the Senate.
Since 2007, CPSC has recalled more than 11 million dangerous cribs. These recalls follow 3,584 reports of crib incidents, which resulted in 1,703 injuries and 153 deaths.
"Since new safeguards were enacted, toy and product safety has steadily improved. Recalls are down dramatically and fatalities have been cut in half," Pryor said. "This new standard will enhance these efforts to keep dangerous products out of the marketplace. It prevents a baby's night sleep from turning into a parent's worst nightmare."
"Time and time again, drop-side cribs have trapped and suffocated infants, destroying families across the country," said Senator Gillibrand. "These products are deadly, and this critically needed action will prevent further senseless deaths by ensuring they never reach another home, nursery room, store, or day care center."
"The cribs for sale today in baby stores nationwide are stronger and safer than ever before," said CPSC Commissioner Robert Adler. "They no longer have dangerous drop-sides that can loosen and trap infants; they do have stronger slats, mattress supports, and hardware; and they have gone through more rigorous testing. These new requirements mean that parents, grandparents, and caregivers can now shop for cribs with more confidence--confidence that the rules put the safety of infants above all else."
Don Mays, senior director for product safety and technical policy at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, said, "As an organization that tests and rates cribs, we have long advocated for tougher crib standards. These new standards mean consumers -- and their babies -- can now rest easier. Parents can buy cribs and put their children to sleep at night with the knowledge and peace of mind that these are the strongest standards in the world."
"Today marks an important new day for our nation's babies. Due to the CPSIA, its Congressional supporters, and CPSC leadership, new cribs will now be meeting the world's most robust and protective safety standards," stated Rachel Weintraub, Director of Product Safety and Senior Counsel with Consumer Federation of America. "This will give parents and caregivers the long overdue peace of mind that when they purchase a new crib, their baby will be in a truly safe place."
"The AAP strongly supports the CPSC's new crib safety standard and the ban on drop-side cribs," said Richard Lichenstein, MD FAAP, member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. "Too many babies suffer injuries or lose their lives from unsafe cribs. The new safety standard is not only the strongest, most protective standard in place to date, but will also undoubtedly save the lives of infants and babies across the country."
In a written statement distributed at the press conference, Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys"R"Us, Inc., said, "There is nothing more important than the safety of children, and we applaud the implementation of these rigorous new standards, which will help parents provide a safer sleeping environment for their babies."