Yesterday, President Joe Biden signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021 into law. The legislation was introduced by Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.
The safe sleep law will add inclined sleepers for infants with an inclined sleep surface greater than ten degrees and crib bumpers to the list of banned hazardous products under the Consumer Product Safety Act.
“Parents and caregivers can breathe a sigh of relief now that President Biden has signed our Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law,” says Congressman Cárdenas, in a release. “Families will finally get the peace of mind that comes with knowing the sleep products they purchase for their newborns are safe. This new law will save lives and protect our kids by banning life-threatening crib bumper pads and inclined sleep products from store shelves.”
Nearly 200 deaths have been linked to crib bumpers and infant-inclined sleep products. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 83 deaths have been crib bumper-related and 97 have been due to inclined sleepers. A study from the CPSC notes that many researchers believe the most common risk factor for sleep-related deaths in infants is rolling into crib bumpers in their sleep area. The CPSC has issued recalls of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play, Kids II Rocking Sleeper, 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soother and the 2-in-1 Soothe ‘n Play Glider, among others.
Last year, the CPSC approved a new federal rule that will require products marketed or intended for infant sleep to meet a federal safety standard limiting the incline of sleepers to 10 degrees or lower. Rulemaking has been proposed to ban crib bumpers but has not yet been finalized. This bill would make these protections law and help remove these dangerous products from the marketplace.