Suffolk County Again Ahead of the Curve When It Comes to Consumer Safety, This Time Regarding Cribs
The Suffolk Legislature voted on October 13, 2009, to ban the sale of drop-side cribs, potentiallyvirtual death traps to infants. Drop-side cribs have caused many deaths and injuries, and prompted massive recalls. It is the first such restriction in the nation. The problem with drop-side cribs is that they have more moving parts than cribs with four fixed sides, making them more likely to develop gaps where a child can become trapped and be asphyxiated. The safer style are drop-gate cribs with four immobile sides - including those that have a small six-inch section at the top of one side that can fold down for greater access without endangering the infant. County Executive Steve Levy reportedly favors the measure but must hold a public hearing before it can become law. The measure was approved unanimously with no debate after Legislator Wayne Horsley detailed that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled more than 4.2 million faulty cribs between 2005 to 2008 and said the cribs caused 90 deaths between 2003 and 2005, making them the most dangerous child product on the market. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is moving to make safety regulations mandatory. The American Society of Testing and Materials is considering new voluntary standards for cribs, including elimination of drop-side equipment. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) offers the following tips to parents to create a safe sleeping environment: Infants shouldalways sleep in a crib, which meets current Federal and ASTM standards; The crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width, one-inch, between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. Otherwise, the baby can get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib; Remove pillow-like bumpers and soft bedding; Look for the JPMA Certification Seal. JPMAs website says that it is a national trade organization of more than 300 companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that exists to advance the interests, growth, and well-being of North American prenatal to preschool product manufacturers, importers, and distributors marketing under their own brands to consumers. The CPSC recommends that before you put your baby to sleep in a used crib, check to be sure it's safe. A safe crib has -- A firm, tight-fitting mattress No loose, missing, or broken hardware or slats No more than 2 3/8" between the slats (about the width of a soda can) No corner posts over 1/16" high No cutout designs in the headboard or footboard. Suffolk County has been at the forefront of passing legislation designed to protect the public from dangerous behavior or dangerous products. For example, Suffolk County passed the first law in New York State that established that drivers caught driving while text messengingwill face a fine of $150.00. The law went into effect on September 21, 2008. On August 18, 2009, the Sullolk County Legislature voted to ban electronic cigarettes from public indoor spaces where traditional forms of smoking are already disallowed, but allows adults to use the devices anywhere cigarette smoking is permitted. The bill also bans the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19. The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims including those involving dangerous and defective products. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a product that was not properly manufactured, designed or labeled, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. To learn more, watch our videos.