Cuomo Signs Bills Expanding Infant Safety Measures for Furniture

NEW YORK (Hamodia/AP) -
bumper pads

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed three laws Tuesday, which aim to improve furniture safety for infants. The laws require furniture retailers to sell compatible tip restraint devices for certain furniture; bans the sale of crib bumper pads; and requires child care facilities to anchor large furniture and electronics that can tip over.

The first bill clarifies existing law that retailers must sell new furniture that complies with federal or certain industry standards with respect to tipping risk, unless they offer for sale compatible tip-restraint devices and post a notice informing consumers of the risk. The legislation is named “Harper’s Law,” after three-year-old Harper Ayva Fried of Monroe, who died in November 2016 when a dresser in her room tipped over.

The second bill prohibits the sale of certain non-mesh crib bumper pads and restricts their use in certain facilities, unless a medical professional has determined a bumper pad is medically necessary for a particular child. The pads are typically sold by stores as part of crib bedding sets and are used to cover the slats of the crib. Infants can fall asleep with their mouth or nose near the bumper and suffocate. Bumper pads have been blamed for the deaths of dozens of infants since the mid-1980s.

The last bill requires that heavy dressers or electronics in child care centers and similar facilities be anchored.

“As a father, I know full well that you never stop worrying about your child’s safety, no matter how old they are,” said Cuomo. “These measures will help give parents peace of mind at a critical time in their child’s lives and will help ensure that their homes or daycare facilities remain safe and secure environments.”