In September, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to bolster the safety of children and infants in New York State. Day cares in New York will be required to fasten large pieces of furniture and electronic equipment to walls or floors as a way to prevent heavy items from tipping over onto young children. Another law includes a ban on crib bumper pads. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have warned parents against using bumper pads since 2008 due to significant risk they pose to infants.
According to an article on the front page of The Journal News on Sunday, September 1, 2019 by Chad Arnold, Cuomo also signed “Harper Law” which requires furniture retailers in the State to only sell furniture that meets Federal Safety Standards and sell devices designed to anchor furniture in its place. The law is named after Harper Fried, a three year old from Monroe, Orange County, New York who died in 2016 when a dresser tipped over onto her. Harper’s parents, Aaron & Erica Fried have been advocating to pass the measure since their daughter’s death.
Harper’s law takes effect in December, 2019. There is currently no Federal Standard which requires furniture to be secured to a wall or floor. The Fried’s, along with several other families who lost children in tip over incidents are pushing to pass the STURDY Act, a Federal law that would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to pass a rule designed to prevent tip over deaths. In New York, Cuomo and law makers approved legislation that would require day cares in New York State to secure furniture and large electronic equipment such as TV’s to either an adjacent wall or floor.
New York retailers beginning in mid-October, 2019, are prohibited from selling crib bumper pads. Day care facilities are also prohibited from using the items unless a doctor says one is medically necessary for a child. The bumper pads have been blamed for 48 infant deaths between 1985 and 2012, according to a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics. The study found 42 of these deaths were caused solely by suffocating under crib bumpers. The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned against bumper pads since 2008.
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury or death from tipping furniture or an infant suffocating by bumper pads, contact the Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800 or at our website of WhitePlains-Injury-Lawyer.com or toll free at (800) 727-7084.