Federal law requires that stationary activity centers (SACs) comply with the Safety Standard for Stationary Activity Centers, 16 CFR part 1238 (Effective December 18, 2019), and with additional requirements, including those specified by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).
Manufacturers and importers of SACs must certify in a Children's Product Certificate (CPC) that their SACs comply with the mandatory standard and any additional CPSIA requirements after the SACs have been tested for compliance at a CPSC-accepted, third party laboratory. These requirements are discussed below and at: www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation.
A “stationary activity center” is a “a freestanding product intended to remain stationary that enables a sitting or standing occupant whose torso is completely surrounded by the product to walk, rock, play, spin or bounce, or all of these, within a limited range of motion.” (Section 3.1.12 of ASTM F2012-18ε1.) SACs are intended for children who are not yet able to walk, but who are able to hold up their heads unassisted.
SACs include products of various designs, but typically consist of a seat that is suspended from a frame by springs or supported from the bottom by a fixed base. ASTM F2012-18ε1 defines three types of SACs: closed-base SACs, open-base SACs, and spring-supported SACs. The standard defines each of these terms, as follows:
- A “closed-base SAC” is “a stationary activity center that does not allow the occupant's feet to contact the floor when the product is in any manufacturer's recommended use position” (section 3.1.1.);
- An “open-base SAC” is “a stationary activity center that allows the occupant's feet to contact the floor” (section 3.1.7); and
- A “spring-supported SAC” is “a stationary activity center in which the sitting or standing platform is supported from below or suspended from above by springs (or equivalent resilient members)” (section 3.1.10).
The Standard seeks to minimize the risk of injury or death associated with a child’s use of a compliant SAC, including falls from elevated surfaces, product disassembly or collapse, stability, and allergic reactions.
The mandatory Safety Standard for Stationary Activity Centers incorporates by reference ASTM F2012-18ε1, Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Stationary Activity Centers. The Commission published its final rule in June 2018, 84 Fed. Reg. 28205 (June 19, 2018) with an effective date of December 18, 2019. ASTM F2012-18ε1, the Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Stationary Activity Centers, can be purchased from ASTM International.
The Standard includes performance requirements specific to SACs, general performance requirements, and labeling requirements. The performance requirements address the following:
- Sharp points and edges;
- Small parts;
- Latching or locking mechanisms that prevent unintentional folding;
- Scissoring, shearing, and pinching;
- Exposed coil springs;
- Toy accessories sold with SACs;
- Protective components;
- Spring failures and spring-supported SACs;
- Structural integrity, including requirements related to dynamic load, static load, and leg openings;
- Stability, including tip overs and seat tilts; and
- Motion resistance for open base SACs.
The standard also includes requirements for warning labels and instructional literature.
SACs are subject to requirements for surface coatings, lead, small parts, testing and certification, registration cards, and tracking labels under the CPSIA. These requirements are discussed below and at: www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation:
- Surface Coating Limit: SACs must not be painted with paint (or any surface coating) that contains more than 90 ppm (0.009 percent) lead.
- Lead Content Limit: SACs must not contain greater than 100 ppm (0.01 percent) of total lead content in any accessible component part.
- Small Parts Ban: SACs must be tested for small parts. Small parts are banned in products intended for use by children under the age of 3.
- Testing and Certification: SACs, like all products that are designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger, must be tested by a CPSC-accepted, third party laboratory for compliance with the SAC standard (Effective December 18, 2019) and all other applicable children’s product safety rules. Based on that testing, a domestic manufacturer (or importer) of SACs must issue a Children's Product Certificate specifying each applicable rule and indicating that the product complies with those rules.
- Product and Outer Package Labeling Requirements: Durable infant or toddler products, such as SACs, must be permanently marked with specific labeling information, including tracking labels, on the product and on the packaging.
- Product Registration Card Requirement: In addition, durable infant or toddler products are required to have additional product markings and a product registration card attached to the product. This chart summarizes the specific labeling and registration requirements that durable infant and toddler products must meet.