Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Linda Stender, Pamela Lampitt, Jamel Holley and Paul Moriarty to provide parents with information about crib safety recently gained final legislative approval from the Assembly. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.
“Many new parents may have the idea that a crib is a crib and that any crib will do,” said Stender (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “This is just not the case. Our legislation allows us to take advantage of an opportunity to educate new parents on crib safety. Providing this information underscores the importance of purchasing the right crib for your baby.”
The bill (A-1355) would require the Department of Health to prepare and make available on its website information on crib safety, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ban on traditional drop-side cribs and the dangers of using traditional drop-side cribs that may still be in existence.
As of June 28, 2011, all cribs manufactured and sold must comply with new federal safety standards. In light of several highly publicized incidents involving drop-side cribs, the CPSC published new rules that: prohibit the sale of drop-side cribs; require that a crib’s slats, mattress supports and hardware be more durable in their construction; and require manufacturers to submit cribs to more rigorous testing to show compliance with the new safety standards.
“The numerous crib recalls, re-sales and incidents which have occurred in recent years warrant legislative action,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “We must do more to educate new parents on safety. It will save our most precious of lives – newborn babies.”
“Parents unknowingly put their children at risk of being injured or dying if they don’t know how to use a crib properly,” said Holley (D-Union). “This bill will help ensure that mothers and fathers are aware of the latest in crib safety when they take their babies home.”
“New parents have so much on their minds that they may not be able to keep up with the millions of cribs that have been recalled. Unbeknownst to them, the place where their newborn baby spends most of his or her time may be one of the most dangerous places in the home,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Providing parents with information on cribs can help prevent tragedies in New Jersey.”
Unsafe sleep environments can result in deaths due to entrapment, suffocation, and strangulation, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For more information on crib safety, visit the AAP website .
The measure received unanimous approval from both houses of the legislature.