Assemblyman Holley Pushes for Nationwide Ban on Supplemental Mattresses for Babies

UNION TOWNSHIP – September 16, 2015  Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Union) today urged the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ban supplemental mattresses for soft-sided play yards, calling them “a proven suffocation hazard” to babies.

Holley said he has worked closely with a non-profit advocacy organization, Keeping Babies Safe, which submitted a petition to the CPSC on June 16 that called for the ban. The CPSC has placed the petition on its docket and has a public comment period running through October 13. Holley is urging his constituents to write letters in support of the ban.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Keeping Babies Safe on legislation in New Jersey that protects babies,” the assemblyman said. “In the process, I have learned about the indisputable dangers related to the use of supplemental mattresses. As a lawmaker, I am surprised the federal government has permitted the sale of supplemental mattresses or play yard mattresses. A ban of these products is needed as their use contradicts the required play yard labeling and the current American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard.”

Holley said he was disappointed that manufactures continue to market and sell the product, pointing to “Dream on Me,” which distributes supplemental mattresses out of South Plainfield and was recently highlighted in a Star-Ledger article about the issue.

“I also don’t understand how stores sell supplemental mattresses for play yards even though the voluntary standard warns that consumers shouldn’t use them,” Holley said. “The sale of such products greatly undermines the strength of the warning labels on play yards.  There is no doubt that babies are suffocating because of this product. There is a reason why play yards are sold with minimal padding – to avoid this type of danger.”

Supplemental mattresses are commonly marketed with soft-sided play yards, creating the belief they can be used together, the assemblyman explained. Banning the sale of supplemental mattresses for play yards with non rigid sides is the most effective way to prevent the suffocation hazard posed by the use of these mattresses.

“It is my sincere hope that the CPSC moves swiftly in finally banning these products from the market. It is truly a life or death situation,” said Holley, who has also signed on as a primary sponsor to a bill (A-1355) requiring hospitals and birthing facilities across the state to provide new parents with vital information about crib safety.

Those interested in commenting about the ban are urged to send a letter to Todd Stevenson, Office of the Secretary at the CPSC, 4330 East West Highway, Room 820, Bethesda, MD 20814. Please reference Docket # – CPSC-2015-0020.