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Safety Commission Votes To Begin Rulemaking On Baby Walkers

Release Date: June 30, 1994

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted (2-1) today (with Chairman Brown and Commissioner Jones-Smith in the majority and Commissioner Gall in the minority) to begin formal rulemaking proceedings on baby walkers. These products are associated with 23,000 emergency room-treated injuries annually, nearly 1,000 of them requiring hospitalization, to children 15 months and younger.

The commission, which can regulate baby walkers under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, is requesting that the rulemaking particularly address the 18,500 injuries that occur each year from baby walkers falling down stairs.

In addition, the commission voted unanimously to direct the CPSC staff to continue to participate with industry in developing voluntary standards to address the hazards associated with baby walkers.

Chairman Ann Brown said, "Severe injuries occur from this product even when the parents are in the same room as the child in a walker. Although I commend those members of the children's products industry who make alternative products, most manufacturers of baby walkers have not redesigned their products to prevent the large number of injuries. The commission can always terminate the rulemaking proceeding if the baby walker industry develops an adequate voluntary standard that addresses the hazard of walkers falling down stairs."

CPSC's mission is to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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