Statement: Safe Sleep Act passes House, awaits vote in Senate

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After nearly 200 infant deaths, the law would ban inclined sleepers and crib bumpers


WASHINGTON — In an effort to protect infants from unsafe consumer products, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021. The bill adds inclined sleepers and crib bumpers to the list of products classified as hazardous and would ban these dangerous products under the Consumer Product Safety Act. 

The vote comes weeks after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ruled 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 in June, 2022.

Nearly 200 infant deaths have been connected to inclined sleepers and crib bumpers in recent years — with 97 linked to inclined sleepers and 83 deaths linked to crib bumpers. Earlier this month, the CPSC’s 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. 

In response, Teresa Murray, consumer watchdog with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, said:

“We are another step closer to protecting the lives of millions of infants. All of these dangerous infant sleepers should have been labeled as hazardous products and taken off the market years ago. We were disappointed the Safe Sleep legislation didn’t pass the Senate last year after it received bipartisan support from the House in 2019. We hope the Senate finishes the job this time around and gets these products banned as soon as possible — not next summer.”

“Two years ago, a U.S. PIRG Education Fund Consumer Watchdog team investigation found that recalled inclined sleepers remained in use in daycare centers in various states across the country. We need to do whatever we can as quickly as we can to get these products out of people’s homes and daycares. Every day that passes means another infant is at risk.”