Portable Bed Rails
Federal law requires that portable bed rails comply with the portable bed rails standard and with additional requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).
Manufacturers and importers of portable bed rails must certify in a Children's Product Certificate that the products comply with the standard and the additional requirements after the portable bed rails have been tested for compliance at a CPSC-accepted, third party laboratory. These requirements are discussed below and in greater detail at www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation.
A portable bed rail is a device intended to be installed on an adult bed to prevent children from falling out. Portable bed rails are intended for children who can get in and out of bed unassisted (typically from 2 to 5 years of age). They include bed rail designs that have a vertical plane that presses against the side of the mattress but does not extend over it (called ‘‘adjacent type bed rails’’), as well as bed rails that sit near the edge of the sleeping surface of the mattress (called ‘‘mattress-top bed rails’’).
There are also products that differ from traditional, rigid portable bed rails because they are constructed of nonrigid materials, such as foam or inflatable materials. Although these foam and inflatable products do not use the term ‘‘bed rails’’ in their packaging or labeling, the products meet the definition of a “portable bed rail” and are included in the scope of the standard.
This standard sets forth performance requirements and labeling intended to minimize hazards to children associated with the use of portable bed rails.
The standard is published in the Code of Federal Regulations at 16 CFR Part 1224. The standard incorporates by reference ASTM F2085-19, which contains the specific requirements and descriptions of the tests for portable bed rails. ASTM F2085-19, the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Portable Bed Rails, can be purchased from ASTM International.
The standard contains the following general and performance requirements (the numbers in the parentheses refer to the section of the standard):
- Hazardous Sharp Edges or Points (5.1)
- Small Parts (5.2)
- Exposed Wood Parts Smooth and Free of Splinters (5.3)
- Lead in Paints (5.4)
- Permanency of Warning Labels (5.5)
- Structural Integrity (6.1)
- Openings (6.2)
- Enclosed Openings (6.3)
- Openings Created by Bed Rail Displacement of Adjacent Style Portable Bed Rails (6.4)
- Openings Created by Displacement of Mattress-Top Portable Bed Rails (6.5)
- Openings Created by Displacement of Portable Bed Rails Intended for Use on Specific Manufacturers’ Beds (6.6)
- Protrusions (6.7)
- Openings Between Bedposts (e.g., Headboard, Footboards) and Ends of Portable Bed Rail (6.8)
Portable bed rails must not create a dangerous gap with the mattress into which a child can fall, and they must be tested to make sure the bed rail cannot be assembled in an unsafe manner. Bed rails must have improved warnings on labels and instructions. Installation components, such as anchors or straps, must be permanently attached to the bed rail. Component parts also must have a warning label affixed to them.
Portable bed rails are subject to requirements for surface coatings, lead and phthalate content, third party testing and certification, registration cards, and tracking labels. These requirements are discussed below and at www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation:
- Surface Coating Limit: Portable bed rails must not be painted with paint that contains more than 90 ppm (0.009 percent) lead.
- Lead Content Limit: Portable bed rails must not contain greater than 100 ppm (0.01 percent) of total lead content in any accessible component part.
- Phthalate Content Limits: Plasticized components of portable bed rails must not contain more than 0.1 percent of the following eight specified phthalates: di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), di-n-pentyl phthalate (DPENP), di-n-hexyl phthalate (DHEXP), and dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP).
- Testing and Certification: Portable bed rails, 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 portable bed rail standard and all other applicable children's product safety rules. Based on that testing, a domestic manufacturer (or importer) of portable bed rails 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 portable bed rails, must be permanently marked with specific labeling information, including tracking labels, on the product and on the packaging. 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.