TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz that would prohibit the sale of unsafe supplemental mattresses marketed for use in cribs and playpens was approved today by the Senate.
“New parents are often inundated with information about the ‘best’ products for their children, including conflicting information, and having hazardous products on the market only makes it that much more difficult for them to keep their child safe – which is the most important job of any parent,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Our responsibility as lawmakers is to protect the most vulnerable in our state – and there is no one more vulnerable that an infant. Taking these products off the shelves is critical to the safety of babies in our state.”
The Star-Ledger has profiled the danger of these mattresses and an effort by a New Jersey mother to have them banned. Joyce Davis’ son Garret was four-and-a-half months old when he suffocated while sleeping in a playpen with a supplemental mattress. Davis subsequently founded a nonprofit, Keeping Babies Safe, which provides education and advocacy in the development of safer children’s products and practices.
The bill (S2616) would specifically deem supplemental mattresses marketed for and intended to be used with non-full-size baby cribs, play pens, and play yards with non-rigid sides to be unsafe, and would make it unlawful to sell them in the state of New Jersey.
The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 21-0. The Assembly approved it 77-0 in December. It must go back to the Assembly to concur with amendments made in the Senate before going to the governor’s desk.