Product Safety

Passage of the Safe Sleep for Babies Act by the U.S. Senate will Save Infants’ Lives

Washington, D.C. — Last night, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act (H.R.3182) passed unanimously in the United States Senate. This important bill, introduced by Representative Cárdenas, will prohibit the manufacture or sale of padded crib bumper pads and infant inclined sleep products.

The case against both of these unsafe sleep products is strong. Dozens of children have died in incidents involving crib bumper pads, and over 100 children have died in inclined sleep product incidents. Crib bumper pads increase the likelihood of suffocation or entrapment. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 113 reported fatalities involving crib bumpers from January 1, 1990, through March 31, 2019.

In celebrating the passage of the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, we remember babies like Preston, who suffocated at just eight weeks old when he rolled off of a sleep positioner and against the bumper of his crib in 2012, and Alex who died in an inclined sleep product, the now-recalled Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play, in 2011.

“This is a pivotal step in saving the lives of our children. I’m grateful for all the effort and time advocates have put into making this happen,” said Sara Thompson, Alex’s mother, about passage of the Safe Sleep for Babies Act. “If manufacturers aren’t willing to step up and take responsibility, it’s up to us as the consumers to make sure dangerous products like these aren’t able to be sold.”

“Laura and I are thankful that our elected officials have finally taken action to protect future generations from the corporations who make these dangerous and unnecessary products,” stated Kyle Maxwell, Preston’s father. “Nothing, not even an act of Congress, can repair the damages these products have caused to ours and countless other families but knowing that the products that took our son from us will no longer be available for purchase gives us closure.”

“Passage of the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, first by the House and now by the Senate, is incredibly important and will save the lives of babies,” stated Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and General Counsel with Consumer Federation of America. “We are deeply grateful for the tenacious advocacy of parents, pediatricians, other advocates, and the bill’s sponsors, Representative Cárdenas, Representative Schakowsky, Senator Blumenthal, Senator Duckworth, and Senator Portman.”

“For decades, consumer, health and parent groups have decried the sale of these dangerous products,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger (KID). “We look now to President Biden to quickly sign the Act into law to get these dangerous items off store shelves.  We hope this ban will encourage anyone currently using these products to remove them from cribs and nurseries to keep children safe.”

Our organizations urge the President to sign this Act into law as soon as possible. The bill requires that both products be declared banned hazardous substances under the Consumer Product Safety Act and will be illegal to manufacture or sell 180 days after the Safe Sleep for Babies Act is enacted.

Contact: Rachel Weintraub, CFA, 202-904-4953