Washington, D.C. — Today, President Biden signed into law the Safe Sleep for Babies Act (H.R. 3182). The Act passed unanimously in the United States Senate on May 3 of this year and passed the House on June 23, 2021. This important bill, introduced by Representative Cárdenas, will prohibit the manufacture or sale of padded crib bumper pads and infant inclined sleep products. Due to the leadership of Representative Cárdenas and Representative Schakowsky, and Senators Duckworth, Blumenthal, Brown, and Portman, and years of advocacy by parents, pediatricians, and consumer advocates, this legislation is now law.
The need for this law is profound: dozens of children have died in incidents involving padded crib bumper pads. 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. Over 100 babies have died in infant inclined sleep products. The CPSC has recalled many versions, but older models are still in circulation. Babies sleep safest flat on their backs in a crib, bassinet, or play yard with nothing in the sleep space.
As this law now goes into effect, 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 2011, and Alex who died in an inclined sleep product, the now-recalled Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play, in 2011.
“After years of perseverance and many tears, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act has finally been signed into law,” said Alex’s mother, Sara Thompson. “Hopefully, this will help lower the number of preventable infant deaths. For all of our angels and all of the grieving parents, this is a victory in their memory. I urge parents now to take the danger seriously and listen to the science.”
“The Safe Sleep for Babies Act is now an incredibly important law that 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, Senator Brown, 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 thank the families and organizations who have worked so hard to keep children safe and look forward to the end of these deadly products on store shelves and in our nurseries.”
We thank the President for signing this bill into law. The bill requires that both products be declared banned hazardous substances under the Consumer Product Safety Act. This law makes it illegal to manufacture or sell both products 180 days after the Safe Sleep for Babies Act is enacted.
Contact: Rachel Weintraub, CFA, 202-904-4953