Sunday, August 1, 2010

New York State Bans Sale of Drop-Side Cribs

New York State Bans Sale of Drop-Side Cribs
By Ryan Bonner @ Bellmore Patch

Gov. David Paterson has signed new state legislation to ban the sale of drop-side cribs, which have been blamed for multiple deaths, including two local children.

State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, along with two other senators, sponsored the new law, which will take effect at the end of October.

Scores of infants across the country have died in the cribs, which feature three immovable sides and one that moves up and down to allow babies to enter and exit easily. But when the cribs malfunction, a baby's head can become trapped between the crib side and the mattress.

More than nine million cribs have been recalled by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) because of the dangers they pose to infants and toddlers.

"Drop-side cribs have been proven dangerous to children's safety time and time again," Fuschillo said in a statement. "Any product designed for children that can kill or injure a child does not belong on store shelves. With the signing of this law, New York State has taken a major step in protecting children from harm."

The new law bans the sale, import, manufacture, and distribution of drop-side cribs throughout New York State.

Two local families who lost children to drop-side cribs, Michele and Henning Witte of Merrick and Robert and Susan Cirigliano of North Bellmore, strongly advocated for the new law and worked closely with Fuschillo to get the legislation passed. Both testified about their experiences at a public forum Fuschillo sponsored in February.

Michele Witte, whose 10-month old son was killed by a drop-side crib in said at the hearing: "The law Senator Fuschillo sponsored is a giant step forward in safeguarding our most precious residents: our children. My son, Tyler Jonathan, died in 1997 because his neck got trapped between the side-rail and headboard of his drop-side crib. Drop-side cribs don't belong on store shelves, and thanks to this new law, they no longer will be in New York State. "

The Ciriglianos of North Bellmore, who lost their 6-month old son to a drop-side crib, said: "We greatly appreciate Senator Fuschillo's efforts to ban drop-side cribs throughout New York State. Since we lost our son Bobby in 2004, we have worked tirelessly to make parents aware of the deadly dangers posed by the drop-side crib. The one place where you would leave your child alone should not be a threat. What happened to Bobby should never happen to another child again."

Suffolk County became the first municipality in the country to ban sales of drop-side cribs when County Executive Steve Levy signed the measure into law last November. Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, sponsored a similar a measure in Nassau that was passed into law.

The sale of drop-side cribs is also prohibited in at least eight states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

The CPSC recently voted in favor of proposing new mandatory standards for cribs nationwide, which include a ban on drop-side cribs. This federal drop-side crib ban would most likely go into effect sometime next year, after a final vote by the CPSC and a waiting period for implementation.

New York State's law takes effect at the end of October, getting these dangerous products off store shelves months earlier, Fuschillo said.

Source: Bellmore Patch


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