KBS Continues to Fight to Ban the Sale of Supplemental Mattresses

Fact: Garret died by the simple act of adding a supplemental mattress to his play yard — a mattress advertised as suitable and safe. Today, mandatory warning labels exist to avoid this tragedy.

Warning Labels on Cribs and Play Yards

National professionals, including the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that supplemental mattresses should NOT be used in a play yard with non rigid sides.

Many responsible retailers refuse to sell this product… yet Amazon and Walmart insist on continuing to sell it.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is drafting a new rule (regulation) for crib mattresses. This covers not only full-size crib mattresses which are sold separately from cribs, but also play yard and non-full size crib mattresses sold with units as well as aftermarket mattresses used as replacements. The new rules do several very important things that will make mattresses safer:

  • Requires a softness test for mattresses. Safe sleep guidelines recommend a firm mattress. This is the first time there will be a test to limit the softness of mattresses sold for cribs.
  • Addresses size and fit issues to make sure dangerous gaps around the mattress don’t form.
  • Requires that mattresses sold for mesh play yards as aftermarket products will have to perform and fit the same as the mattress sold with the unit. Manufacturers will have to test mattresses to the play yard standard for each model in which they recommend their product for use.

This will eliminate “supplemental” mattresses for mesh play yards that are often added over the pad that comes with the unit and have led to entrapment and suffocation. This new standard will keep children safe and give parents confidence that products they buy aren’t going to make the crib or play yard dangerous.1

Legislative Achievements

Since our founding, KBS has made significant strides in protecting infants and toddlers from unnecessary injuries and death. Here are just a few of our many legislative accomplishments:

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

KBS was instrumental in the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a vital new federal crib legislation on June 24, 2011. This law ensures that new cribs comply with the strongest crib laws our country has ever seen.

NY State A.356/S.6730 (November 2016)

KBS has been the driving force behind a new state law to protect babies in New York. Together with Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal this new law puts required reading on crib safety in the hands of new parents. Hospitals and birthing centers will distribute leaflets detailing crib safety information to maternity patients at the time of discharge. The law also requires hospital staff to inquire whether the maternity patient has a new crib available for their newborn.


We’ve educated hospital personnel on safe crib and sleep practices so they can pass vital information directly to their patients. We are currently working to make it mandatory for all hospitals and birthing facilities in the U.S. to educate new parents on crib safety upon discharge.

NJ State A.1355/S.2963 (January 2016)

Gov. Chris Christie signed a new law in New Jersey, following our extensive engagement… This new law requires The Department of Health to provide information on crib safety to hospitals and birthing centers at the time of discharge.

Other Achievements

  • We partnered with the AAP and the CPSC to create a national education campaign on sleep safety entitled “Safe Sleep (Environments) for Babies,” which includes a video and educational materials on how to create and maintain a safe nursery and sleep environment for infants.
  • We’ve distributed the “Safe Sleep (Environments) for Babies” video and brochures (in English and Spanish) in hospitalsnationwide. The video is viewed in hospitals on the Newborn Channel, which reaches more than 3.1 million viewers in more than 1,000 hospitals each year.
  • Since 2007, we’ve donated more than 11,000 new cribs to financially-challenged parents through our partner hospitals and clinics nationwide. In addition, we’ve trained scores of workers at Health and Human Services organizations to bring cribs into homes and set them up according to the highest safety standards.

1 https://consumerfed.org/press_release/consumer-groups-call-ban-infant-mattresses-pose-risk-babies/

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