U.S. – New York Expands Infant Safety Measures
Vol. 1102 | September 18, 2019
This August, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed three measures to provide safer environments for the children of the State of New York. The legislation includes “Harper’s Law,” requiring furniture manufacturers to provide tip restraints with certain categories of products, a law requiring childcare facilities to anchor large furniture and electronic equipment capable of being tipped, and a ban on crib bumper pads. Below is a summary of all three bills:
Known as “Harper’s Law,” it is named for a three-year-old child named Harper who died from a furniture tip over.
The law defines furniture as “a clothing storage unit that is freestanding and at least twenty-seven inches in height including but not limited to chests, dressers, armoires, and bureaus” and requires that all new furniture sold to consumers be compliant with federal standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or where none exists, be compliant with the applicable ASTM standard, including but not limited to the ASTM F2057 safety standard for clothing storage units.
The law allows for sale of furniture not complying with CPSC or ASTM standards, if:
- the furniture sold is outside the scope of the standards and contains a compatible tip restraint device as well as carries a permanent warning label or
- the furniture is outside the scope of the prescribed standards and the retailer:
a) maintains in stock and prominently displays within the store tip restraint devices available for sale that are compatible with such furniture; and
b) posts a notice, in a conspicuous location that may be easily seen or reached by customers, that, in legible format, states: "Certain furniture may become unstable and tip over, leading to possible injury or death. Tip restraint devices may prevent tipping of furniture when properly installed."
Violators of the provisions of this section of the General Business Law shall be liable for a civil penalty not exceeding $500 for each violation.
The law comes into effect on November 11, 2019.
This bill amending the Social Services Law requires any child daycare center to take measures to securely anchor to the walls or floor, any items of large furniture or electronic appliances that may be tipped over either due to design, height, weight, etc., using angle braces, anchors or other tip-restraint devices. Any items that cannot be anchored are required to be removed from the facility.
The law comes into effect on February 9, 2020.
This addition to the General Business Law requires that no manufacturer, importer, distributor, wholesaler, retailer or secondhand dealer shall sell, lease, offer for sale, or offer for lease in the state any crib bumper pad as an accessory to a crib or as a separate item, effective October 12, 2019.
Crib bumper pads as defined by the law are “pad or pads of a non-mesh material resting directly above the mattress in a crib, running the surface area of the crib or along the length of any of the interior sides of the crib. "Crib bumper pad" does not include mesh liners.”.
The laws may be viewed at:
- S.1627B/A.4421B - https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/GBS/399-II
- S.3563A/A.29A - https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/SOS/390-L
- S.3788A/A.217A - https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/GBS/399-II*2