After a seven-year fight, a New Jersey mother whose baby suffocated to death in her sleep has won her battle to get the federal government to ban certain baby mattresses.
In a unanimous vote on Wednesday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) agreed to release a final rule on replacement or supplemental mattresses — those made by third parties and sold separately from cribs and playgrounds. . The mattresses will now have to be the same as the mattresses sold with the products and go through third-party testing, according to the ruling, by fall 2022.
It will cover all mattresses sold for full-size cribs and require a firmness test, eliminating the type of mattress that Davis says caused his son’s death.
In 2000, her four-and-a-half-month-old son Garret suffocated in a soft-sided playground. He slept on an extra mattress – not the one that came with the playground, but a thicker mattress that Davis said he bought because it was advertised as suitable for the playground.
Davis’ claim was that mattresses sold separately from play sets can create a gap between the mattress and the mesh side, which a child’s head can get stuck in. Mattresses were often sold next to play areas, giving consumers the impression that they were safe to use together, she said.
“Garret suffocated from the extra mattress,” Davis said. “There were no warning labels advising us against using these products together.”
She founded Keeping Babies Safe, a nonprofit advocacy group, and launched a multi-level campaign to educate parents about safe baby sleep and to ban extra mattresses.
Its successes include posting mandatory hazard labels on all play areas, warning users of the risks and instructing them to only use the mattress cover that comes with the product. She also successfully campaigned for many retailers to stop selling the extra mattresses.
But his goal from the start was to get the government to completely ban the sale of the products.
“That was our key issue,” Davis said.
Keeping Babies Safe petitioned the CPSC, asking for a review, in 2015.
“Of course, I’m thrilled for every family moving forward, but it’s not bringing Garret back,” Davis said as he choked up. “I can’t bring him back. I would like to know then what I know now. He lives in our hearts forever.
She said she would continue to try to educate parents about safe sleep.
“I just hope if we could help one family, influence others…” she said. “Nude is best in the crib and a flat, firm surface is best. Always put your baby ‘on her back’ to sleep.
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