Bobby’s Story


Bobby died when the side rail of his crib detached, trapping and suffocating him.

Submitted by his parents

Bobby was exactly six months and three days old when the side rail of his drop-side crib came loose, entrapping and suffocating him between the mattress and rail. Although his death at first seemed like a freak accident, as Bobby’s parents began researching crib deaths they learned that Bobby was one of at least thirty-two children since 2000 that suffocated or strangled in a drop-side crib.

As the reality of his death sank in, it was hard for his parents not to fixate on all the losses: Bobby’s big sister, Jennifer, would never get a chance to teach him how to navigate life. Bobby would never meet his other two siblings. He would never sit on Santa’s lap and would never blow out a birthday candle.

However, once Bobby’s parents fully comprehended just how many children were being imperiled by this fundamentally unsafe crib design, they were driven to action. Since Bobby’s death, the Long Island couple has worked ceaselessly to ensure that no other child is injured or killed by drop-side cribs.

Bobby’s parents worked with lawmakers to ban drop-side cribs in Suffolk, Nassau and Rockland counties in New York. They worked with other New York families who’ve lost children to unsafe children’s products to launch the first annual Project Safe Child Walk-a-Thon to raise funds to support the work of organizations like KID.

On a national level, they testified in 2010 before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Education at a crib safety hearing. Their efforts paid off: On June 28, 2011 the world’s strongest crib standard went into effect, ensuring at long last that new cribs coming onto the market will provide a safe haven for babies and their families through a ban on the drop-side crib design, stringent testing standards and other improvements.

Still they did not rest. In 2011, they joined with other parent advocates to pen a letter protesting retailers who were requesting additional time to sell off inventories of unsafe cribs after the new standard took effect.

And the work continues. Nothing will bring Bobby back to his family, but his parents’ dedication to ridding the world of unsafe cribs is helping to save other children.

For more information, check out:
Product Hazards/Cribs
Safe Sleep Tips (PDF)