Senate Approves Feinstein Measure to Prevent Harm to Babies and Young Children from Unsafe Secondhand Cribs
Mar 06 2008
Washington, DC – The Senate has approved a measure sponsored by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to apply Consumer Product Safety standards to the commercial use or sale of dangerous secondhand cribs in order to protect infants. This would help reduce injuries and deaths that come from infant crib accidents.
The measure was included in the comprehensive Consumer Product Safety Commission bill approved by the Senate today.
“The measure approved today by the Senate will close a major loophole – and ensure that secondhand cribs will have to meet the same safety standards as new cribs,” Senator Feinstein said. “This will save lives and give peace of mind to the millions of parents who use secondhand cribs.”
Currently, U.S. Consumer Product Safety standards apply only to new cribs and not to the sale or commercial use of secondhand cribs, which cause most crib-related infant injuries and deaths.
The measure approved by the Senate today would pose stiff penalties to commercial users who knowingly violate crib regulations:
- Prohibit commercial users, such as thrift stores and resale furniture stores, to sell, resell or lease unsafe used cribs that are structurally unsound, and prohibits hotels, motels, and day care centers from using unsafe cribs.
- Add secondhand cribs to the list of child and infant products covered by the Consumer Product Safety Act, the law that already applies to new cribs and other children’s products.
This law would go into effect no later than one year after the date of enactment.
The Feinstein measure is supported by the following organizations: Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Safe Kids USA, Kids in Danger, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Public Citizen, National Research Center for Women & Families, and Keeping Babies Safe, based in San Leandro, California.
The language approved by the Senate today is similar to proposals that Senator Feinstein and Representative Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) have worked on for several years.
Every year, more than 9,800 infants are injured and 22 children die from the use of unsafe cribs; as many as half of all infant deaths occur in secondhand or hand me-down cribs. Many of these injuries and deaths could be prevented. New cribs meeting the standards established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are generally considered safe. However, unsafe cribs are still being sold in “secondary markets” such as thrift stores and resale furniture stores.
Millions of used cribs are sold throughout the United States in secondary markets such as thrift stores and resale furniture stores. As many as half of the 4 million infants born in this country each year are placed in second-hand cribs. Additionally, many hotels and motels continue to use unsafe cribs that do not meet safety standards established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Many of these used cribs are unsafe and should be taken off the market and either repaired or destroyed. These used cribs can have dangerous features such as missing or broken parts, excessive slat width, poor fitting crib sheets, inadequate mattress supports, latches that do not prevent unintentional collapse of the crib.
Real life examples of the tragedies caused by unsafe cribs:
- Garrett Davis, 4-month old son of Rich and Joyce Davis of N.J. died at grandparents home in Florida when Garrett became wedged between the added mattress and the vinyl side of the mesh crib. The suffocation happened in Dec. of 2000.
- Amaya Jade Dummar, 2-month old child of April Dummar, died of asphyxiation when she was caught between the crib railing and side of the crib - a screw pulled loose creating the deadly gap. Gabbs, NV.
- At the age of 23 months, Danny Lineweaver was injured during an attempt to climb out of his crib. Danny caught his shirt on a decorative knob on the cornerpost of his crib and hanged himself. Though his mother was able to perform CPR the moment she found him, Danny lived in a semi-comatose state for nine years and died in 1993.