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American Academy of Pediatrics · Consumer Federation of America · Kids In Danger · Public Citizen · U.S. PIRG

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 16, 2019

Media contacts:
Rachel Weintraub, Consumer Federation of America, 202-904-4953, rweintraub@consumerfed.org
Nancy A. Cowles, Kids In Danger, 312-595-0649, nancy@kidsindanger.org
Remington A. Gregg, Public Citizen, 202-454-5117,
rgregg@citizen.org
Adam Garber, U.S. PIRG, 267-515-1220, adam@pirg.org
Jamie Poslosky, American Academy of Pediatrics, 202-347-8600, jposlosky@aap.org

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Critical Child Safety Law Passes House with Bipartisan Support

Consumer & Medical Groups laud action to protect babies

Washington DC — A coalition of consumer and medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Federation of America, Kids In Danger, Public Citizen, and U.S. PIRG praised the U.S. House of Representative for passing the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2019 (H.R. 3172).

This child safety legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Tony Cardenas (CA) would ban infant inclined sleep products and padded crib bumper pads, both products linked to dozens of infant deaths. The bill passed by voice vote with bipartisan support.

Infant inclined sleep products, such as the recalled Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, have been linked to the deaths of at least 73 infants. While there have been four recalls related to this product type, similar unsafe products of this type remain on the market and continue to pose risks to infants. For years the AAP has warned these products are unsafe.

H.R. 3172 also bans bumper pads which have led to dozens of infant suffocation deaths. Maryland, Ohio, and New York State, along with Chicago, Illinois, and Watchung, New Jersey, have already protected infants by outlawing crib bumper pads. If H.R. 3172 becomes law, all babies in the Unites States would be protected from both of these potentially dangerous children’s products.

This bill offers a vital opportunity to protect children from preventable injuries and deaths. Consumer, safety and medical organizations all agree that a baby sleeps safest alone, and on their back in a bare crib that meets current safety standards.

“Pediatricians have long recommended against the use of crib bumpers and inclined sleepers, because they contradict AAP’s own evidence-based safe sleep recommendations. Having these dangerous and unnecessary products on store shelves confuses parents and contributes to sleep- related infant deaths. AAP applauds the House for passing this legislation, and urges the Senate to take it up without delay,” stated American Academy of Pediatrics President Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP.

“During this holiday season, the House has given a wonderful gift to American families: protection from products that can cause their infants harm,” stated Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and General Counsel with Consumer Federation of America. “We express our deep gratitude to Representative Cardenas and Chair Schakowsky for leading the effort to pass these critical child product safety bills.”

“The deadly hazards of these two products for babies have been known for years,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger. “Now, this vote takes us one step closer to getting them off of store shelves and out of our homes.”

“Reps. Schakowsky and Cardenas should be commended for putting the safety of infants before company profits. We look forward to the Senate taking quick action,” said Remington A. Gregg, Counsel for Civil Justice and Consumer Rights at Public Citizen.

“All parents want from their kid’s crib is a restful night’s sleep for them and their baby,” said Adam Garber, U.S. PIRG Consumer Watchdog. “Today’s vote moves us a step closer to that goal by removing unnecessary dangers from nurseries and daycares around the country.”

We applaud the sponsor of this bill, Representative Tony Cardenas (CA), along with Subcommittee Chair Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL) for their hard work in getting this bill to the floor for this historic vote.

The bill has two companion bills in the Senate, S. 1767 The Safe Sleep Act (Senator Richard Blumenthal CT) banning infant inclined sleep products and S. 1816, The Safe Cribs Act (Senator Tammy Duckworth -IL) banning padded crib bumper pads. We urge the Senate to take up these bills quickly to protect our most vulnerable consumers while they sleep.

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