Reporting Mike Xirinachs
MERRICK, NY (CBSNewYork / AP) - On the day the new federal drop-side crib ban went into effect, Michele Witte, whose son Tyler died in a crib tragedy, found some comfort.
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“When I woke up and found him strangled by a place that I thought was his one and only safe haven, it’s horrific. No family should ever have to go through that,” she said in Merrick on Tuesday. ”I have closure today. I’ve been waiting for thirteen and a half years to have closure, and I have that closure today.”
Michele, along with Susan Cirigliano, who also lost a child in a crib tragedy, worked hard to make the drop-side crib ban possible.
“We made a promise to Bobby and ourselves that we weren’t going to let this happen to any other child. After some hard-fought years, we finally had our promise fulfilled,” said Cirigliano. “We have the champagne in the kitchen and that’s what it is to us. It’s a celebration. It’s a celebration for child safety.”
The two families were honored for their efforts by St. Sen. Charles Fuschillo.
Beginning today, the government is prohibiting the manufacture, sale or even re-sale of drop-side baby cribs, which have been blamed in the deaths of dozens of children.
A new federal rule bans the cribs that have a side rail that can be raised and lowered to allow parents to place or lift a baby more easily.
A new generation of cribs expected to be safer will be the only cribs allowed to be sold across the country, even at neighborhood yard sales.
The new standards also mandate more rigorous safety tests for cribs.
Safety advocates say millions of drop-side cribs may still be in circulation in spite of recalls and efforts to warn parents of the danger they pose.
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