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WASHINGTON -- In a move that will save babies’ lives, the U.S. Senate has passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act. The vote comes nearly a year after it passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden for him to sign into law.
The law will designate inclined sleepers and crib bumpers as hazardous and ban them under the Consumer Product Safety Act. Inclined sleepers, aimed at babies up to 1 year old, have a sleep surface slanted greater than 10 degrees. Crib bumpers are padded and go inside a crib. It will be illegal to manufacture or sell either product.
More than 200 infant deaths have been connected to inclined sleepers and crib bumpers in recent years — with at least 97 linked to inclined sleepers and at least 113 deaths linked to crib bumpers. Last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s then-Acting Chairman Robert Adler said inclined products, such as gliders, soothers, rockers and swings, were not safe for infant sleep, due to the risk of suffocation.
The CPSC previously ruled that inclined sleepers and other products marketed for sleep for infants younger than five months must meet the same federal safety standards required for cribs and similar products, starting next month.
In response, Teresa Murray, consumer watchdog with the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, said:
“This will protect millions of babies. No child should ever be in danger while sleeping in or with an item their caregiver thought was safe. And no parent should ever endure the pain of their child dying or suffering an injury from a product they didn’t know was dangerous. Experts have said inclined sleepers and crib bumpers should have been banned years ago. Thankfully, this will finally happen.
“In 2019, a U.S. PIRG Consumer Watchdog investigation found that inclined sleepers that had been recalled were still being used in daycare centers in various states across the country. Next, when all of these dangerous products are finally banned, we need to educate caregivers about products that may already be in use or may be passed down to new parents or found at garage sales or online.”
To learn whether any product has been recalled or is connected to injuries, go to SaferProducts.gov.
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