House passes two child safety initiaves

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at protecting children from both the dangers of tip overs as well as sleep-related deaths linked to unsafe crib bumpers and infant inclined sleep units.

The bills included the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers (STURDY) Act (H.R. 1314), which was sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.). It would direct the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to create and finalize a mandatory standard to help prevent tip-over incidents involving clothing storage units.

According to the CPSC, one to two children die each month, and a child is sent to emergency rooms every 60 minutes due to tip-over incidents.

The second bill was the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021 (H.R. 3182), which was sponsored by Rep. Tony Cardenas, (Calif.) and Rep. Schakowsky. This would protect infants from sleep related deaths by prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of padded crib bumpers and infant inclined sleep products. Such products have been linked to dozens of infant deaths and are also inconsistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for safe sleep, officials said.

Various child safety advocates have praised the House passage of these bills and are calling on the U.S. Senate to pass both bills and also urged President Biden to sign them into law.

“As we begin the summer months, the House has given American families a wonderful gift: protection from products that can cause their infants and children harm,” said Rachel Weintraub, legislative director and general counsel with the Consumer Federation of America. “We express our deep gratitude to Chair Schakowsky and Representative Cardenas for leading the effort to pass these critical child product safety bills.”

Others also praised the House for passing both bills.

“It is heartening to see these vital safety bills be passed on a bipartisan basis in the House,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger. “Safe sleep, stable furniture, and attention to hazards that increased during the pandemic will ensure a safer future for our children. Thanks to the sponsors of these lifesaving bills.”

“Chair Schakowsky and Rep. Cardenas continue to be consumer protection champions for our families,” added Remington A. Gregg, counsel for Civil Justice and Consumer Rights at Public Citizen. “We thank them for their leadership and hope the Senate will quickly pass these bills.”

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