As of yesterday, June 28th, the Federal Government has implemented new laws regarding the manufacture, sale, and resale of baby cribs. These new federal regulations make it illegal to build, sell, or even garage sale a baby crib with drop down sides.
Presumably, under the jurisdiction of providing for the “general welfare” of the people clause (Article 1 Section-8) in the US Constitution, Congress felt the need to intervene in yet another facet of our lives. You would think that such a law encompassing such sweeping changes to an entire industry, would be based on a significant number of reported problems or consumer lawsuits, and could possibly be justified under the general welfare clause if that were the case.
Apparently, that depends upon your definition of “significant number”.
In this case, that number is 30. 30 deaths since 2000, or 3 deaths per year. In the year 2007 alone, there were 4,317,119 babies born in the US. According to: about .com there is a trend of about 4,000.000 babies born in this country every year since 2000. 4 million a year multiplied by 10 years is 40,000,000 babies.
30 deaths over 10 years and 40.000.000 babies. To find out what percentage of baby deaths are caused by these cribs, we divide 40,000,000 (the number of babies born here over 10 years) into 30 (the number of deaths attributed to drop-side cribs) and get .000075%–less than 1/10,000 of a percent! Yep, that’s a significant number if I ever heard one.
In 2007, alone there were 10 children that drowned in swimming pools in the city of Phoenix and its suburbs. See the full report here. This number is about average over the last 29 years that I have lived here. That means that in the same 10 year period between 2000 and 2010, 100 children have drowned in swimming pools in just this county. If we are to follow the logic—and I use the term loosely—of Congress with the baby cribs, the Federal Government should have outlawed swimming pools decades ago. They are simply far too dangerous, ranging to hundreds or thousands of times more so than the now outlawed baby cribs, and through the general welfare provision of the Constitution, and Congress’ latest perversion of it, swimming pools present far too great a hazard to children and no further permits to build them should be issued, ever. Anywhere. All those in existence should be filled in, covered over and converted into organic gardens.
Perhaps we should outlaw bathtubs as well, or better yet, baths for children altogether since there are more drowning deaths in the US in bathtubs each year than there are deaths caused by these cribs.
I am not trying to trivialize the deaths of these children. I know first hand the trauma of a baby’s death. My wife and I lost a son several years ago, just hours after his birth. But, to pass sweeping changes that affect the entire baby products industry, not to mention the convenience factor for parents on less than 1/10,000% of instances smacks of extreme overreach and smells of pandering for votes.