Make play yard mattresses breathable to stop accidental infant suffocation.
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It was nap time at our 7-month-old daughter Abigail's daycare. Her caretakers put her down on a play yard mattress pad to sleep, as they had many times before. But this time, Abigail slept stomach-down. An hour later, Abigail was unresponsive and unconscious. She had suffocated with her face against the mattress pad. Doctors tried to save her, but it was too late. That was six years ago, and her loss still haunts us.
It turns out there are no laws requiring mattress pads for babies to be breathable. We couldn’t believe this when we found out. We, and her daycare providers, had assumed her sleeping surface must be safe because it was manufactured especially for babies. We took it to court, as we could not stand the idea of another child meeting Abby's fate.
As part of our case, we engaged top experts to conduct tests on 30 popular play yard mattresses: results proved that the one Abigail slept on that day had more in common with a plastic bag than a safe sleeping surface, and many other brands are as bad when it comes to breathability.
This is unthinkable, and we must demand better regulation of infant products. Please, in Abby’s memory and for all infants who could fall into harm’s way, sign this petition calling on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to require all mattress pads for babies to be breathable.
In our tests, some play yard mattresses proved very breathable. But there are no standards or labeling for this, so parents and daycare providers have no way to know which products provide a safe place to sleep, and which ones are no more breathable than a deadly plastic bag.
We hope that our story, and the fact that the jury in our court case made history when it chose to hold the mattress pad’s manufacturer accountable for Abby's passing, will result in better regulations when it comes to mattress pad breathability. It would be a fitting and important tribute to our beautiful Abby, and a crucial safety measure for all babies to come.
Now that we know the truth, we cannot allow our babies’ lives to be put at risk any longer. Please join us in asking the CPSC to make surface breathability a mandatory requirement in mattress pads for babies.
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