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Cuomo signs three infant safety measures into law

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed three measures to protect and create a safer environment for infants in New York. The legislation includes “Harper’s Law,” which requires furniture retailers to sell compatible tip restraint devices for certain furniture (S.1627B/A.4421B); another new law requiring child care facilities to anchor large furniture and electronics that can tip over (S.3563A/A.29A); and a ban on the sale of crib bumper pads, which have been blamed for infant death and serious injury (S.3788A/A.217A).

“As a father, I know full well that you never stop worrying about your child’s safety, no matter how old they are,” Governor Cuomo said. “These measures will help give parents peace of mind at a critical time in their child’s lives and will help ensure that their homes or daycare facilities remain safe and secure environments.”

Harper’s Law (S.1627B/A.4421B)

“Harper’s Law” clarifies existing law that retailers must sell new furniture that complies with federal or certain industry standards with respect to tipping risk, unless they offer for sale compatible tip restraint devices and post a notice informing consumers of the risk. The law is named after three-year-old Harper Ayva Fried of Monroe, who died in November 2016 when a dresser in her room tipped over.

The bill will take effect 90 days after becoming law.

Senator James Skoufis said, “After many years of tireless advocacy, I’m so proud that Harper’s Law has been enacted in New York State. I was honored to fight for this bill’s passage alongside Assemblyman Zebrowski and I thank the Governor for signing this bill so quickly after it was delivered to his desk. After suffering the greatest tragedy of all, New York’s children will now be safer due to Harper’s family’s selfless efforts; I’m endlessly grateful for the impact their work will have on our state.”

Assembly Member Kenneth Zebrowski said, “Unfortunately, furniture tip-overs are a risk and heartbreaking reality that exist for far too many families. This law will require retailers that sell new furniture to ensure that clothing storage units comply with federal or industry standards that include a tip restraint device, which is a mechanism that secures furniture to a wall. This will remove dangerous furniture from our stores; making homes safer for children. Many families are not even aware that their furniture may require or be safer with this feature. I am proud that New York will become the first State to require tip restraint devices to be included in the sale of furniture. With this law in place, we can help to prevent these unimaginable tragedies. I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the importance of this legislation and swiftly singing it into law. I’d also like to extend my utmost gratitude to the Fried Family who worked with me to craft this law in honor of their daughter, Harper. Today we honor her legacy by working to prevent these tragic accidents from happening in the future.”

Securing Furniture in Place (S.3563A/A.29A)

This law requires that heavy dressers or tube style televisions are anchored in child care centers and other similar facilities across the state.

The bill will take effect 180 days after becoming law.

Senator José Serrano, Jr. said, “Far too many families have been impacted by preventable tragedies involving young children and tipping furniture or electronics. On average, every ten days one child in the U.S. has a fatal accident with a falling television or piece of furniture. The legislation signed today by Governor Cuomo will give parents peace of mind by requiring that all child care facilities in our state take the low-cost precaution of anchoring televisions and heavy dressers, ensuring the protection of our youngest, most vulnerable New Yorkers. I am honored to have carried this bill in the Senate, and thank Governor Cuomo, Assembly Member Rosenthal, and my legislative colleagues for their support and commitment to keeping our children safe.”

Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal said, “Unanchored furniture and appliances present a serious danger to young children who may fall against the furniture or attempt to climb it.Furniture anchoring is an easy solution to a dangerous, and sometimes fatal, hazard. Parents commonly spend many hours childproofing their own homes and with this new law, they can now expect the same level of safety at daycare facilities.”

Crib Bumper Pads (S.3788A/A.217A)

This law prohibits the sale of certain non-mesh crib bumper pads and restricts their use in certain facilities and places of public accommodation, unless a medical professional has determined a bumper pad is medically necessary for a particular child.

The bill will take effect 60 days after becoming law.

Senator David Carlucci said, “Legislation I sponsored to ban crib bumpers is about protecting our children from deadly clutter. We know these accessories are not safe, and yet they are still marketed to parents as a matching nursery accessory. I thank the Governor for his immediate action to ban their sale in New York State and prevent future tragedies.”

Assembly Member Amy Paulin said, “No parent, relative, or family friend would ever intentionally risk the injury or even death of a newborn, but that’s what some have tragically done by using crib bumpers. With this law, we eliminate any potential confusion and protect our babies.”