Federal law requires that infant walkers comply with the infant walker standard and with additional requirements, including those of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).
Manufacturers and importers of infant walkers must certify in a Children's Product Certificate that the infant walkers comply with the standard and the additional requirements after the infant walkers have been tested for compliance at a CPSC-accepted, third party laboratory. These requirements are discussed below atwww.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation.
An infant walker is a mobile unit that enables a child to move on a horizontal surface when propelled by the child sitting or standing within the walker.
The standard seeks to minimize the risk of deaths and injuries associated with the use of infant walkers, including those related to falls down stairs, falls between flooring levels, or tipping over.
The standard is published in the Code of Federal Regulations at 16 CFR Part 1216. The standard incorporates by reference ASTM F977-22e1, with certain modifications described below. ASTM F977-22e1, the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Walkers, can be purchased from ASTM International.
The ASTM standard includes performance requirements specific to infant walkers, general performance requirements, and labeling requirements. The key provisions of the ASTM infant walker standard include the following:
- Prevention of falls down stairs - intended to ensure that a walker will not fall down stairs when facing forward, backward, and sideways.
- Tipping resistance - intended to ensure that walkers are stable and do not tip over when on a flat surface; includes tests for forward and rear tip resistance, as well as for the occupant leaning over the side.
- Dynamic and static load testing on seating area - intended to ensure that the child remains fully supported while stationary and while bouncing/jumping.
- Occupant retention - intended to prevent entrapment by setting requirements for leg openings.
The ASTM standard also includes: (1) torque and tension tests to ensure that components cannot be removed; (2) requirements for several walker features to prevent entrapment and cuts (minimum and maximum opening sizes, accessible coil springs, leg openings, and edges that can scissor, shear, or pinch); (3) latching/locking mechanism requirements to ensure that walkers do not collapse accidentally while in use; (4) requirements for the permanency and adhesion of labels; and (5) requirements for warnings and instructional literature.
Infant walkers are subject to requirements for surface coatings, lead content, testing and certification, registration cards, and tracking labels. These requirements are discussed below and at www.cpsc.gov/cpsia:
- Surface Coating Limit Infant walkers may not be painted with paint that contains more than 0.009 percent lead.
- Lead Content Limit Infant walkers cannot contain greater than 100 ppm (0.01 percent) of total lead content in any accessible component part.
- Testing and Certification Infant walkers, 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 recognized by CPSC for compliance with the infant walker standard and all other applicable children's product safety rules. Based on that testing, a domestic manufacturer (or importer) of infant walkers must issue a Children's Product Certificate specifying each applicable rule and indicating that the product complies with those rules.
- Registration Cards Each manufacturer of an infant walker must (1) provide a postage-paid consumer registration form with each product and (2) keep records of consumers who register their products with the manufacturer. In addition, manufacturer's add permanent markings to the product that state (3) the manufacturer's name and contact information, (4) the model name and number, and (5) the date of manufacture permanently on each such product.
- Tracking Labels Infant walkers must have a tracking label or other distinguishing permanent mark affixed to the product and its packaging. The tracking label shall be a permanent distinguishing mark on the product and its packaging, to the extent practicable, and must contain certain basic information, including the (1) name of the manufacturer or private label, (2) the location and date of manufacture, and (3) cohort information, such as a batch or run number.
To the extent that the information required to be marked on the product (by the tracking label requirement and the registration card rule) is duplicative, you may combine the markings on the product to satisfy both requirements. Note that the tracking label requirement must also be marked on the product's packaging.