House Passes Two Bills Promoting Safer Children's Products
Lawmakers approved the STURDY Act, to prevent furniture tip-overs, and the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, to ban inclined sleepers and crib bumper pads
UPDATE: On November 18, 2021, a group of senators, from both parties, introduced the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill would direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create and finalize a mandatory stability standard to help prevent tip-overs, which have been linked with thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities. The legislation also encourages furniture manufacturers to make design innovations that would enhance the safety of dressers and other clothing storage units.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on June 23, 2021 to pass two bills that would prevent injuries and deaths linked to furniture tip-overs and infant sleep products. Both bills passed with broad bipartisan support.
The first bill, called the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act, would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which oversees thousands of consumer products, to create a mandatory federal rule that would ensure furniture stability. Right now, there are only voluntary safety standards for furniture, which many consumer advocates say are too weak and ineffective at preventing tip-overs in real-world scenarios.
The STURDY Act would require manufacturers to pass more rigorous furniture stability tests before putting their products on the market. That is likely to decrease the incidence of furniture tip-overs, which have been tied to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries over the past two decades.
Between 2000 and 2019, 451 children were killed when a piece of furniture or a television fell onto them, according to CPSC data. And from 2017 through 2019, 11,300 children per year, on average, were treated in hospital emergency rooms for tip-over-related injuries.