Update: Governor Paterson signed the bill today, July 30.

The state of New York is coming closer to effectively removing drop-side cribs from stores and homes of its concerned residents. A bill banning the sale, import, manufacture, and distribution of drop-side cribs was approved by the state legislators at the end of last month. It now remains to be signed by Gov. David Paterson to go into effect.

The proposed bill reflects an understanding that the current crib industry standards are grossly inadequate, leading to at least 32 deaths in drop-side cribs. Drop-side cribs feature one movable side that can easily break or malfunction, injuring an unsuspecting child by detaching in a way that traps him/her between the mattress and the drop-side and leads to suffocation.

The numerous deadly hazards posed by drop-side cribs have prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall over nine million cribs over the past three years. At least eight other states have already effectively banned this unsafe design through the Children’s Product Safety Act or the Infant Crib Safety Act that bans the commercial use of cribs that don’t meet current standards. The standards included a ban on drop-side designs the end of 2009.

“Banning the sale, distribution and manufacturing of drop-side cribs in this state will save our children’s lives and protect our very fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the State I am proud to call home,” says Michelle Witte, whose son Tyler was killed in a drop-side crib. If you are a NY resident, please support the bill by contacting the governor at (518) 474-8390 or filling out the online form available here.