WASHINGTON, D.C. – To prevent deaths and injuries to infants and children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a new federal mandatory standard intended to improve the safety of soft infant and toddler carriers. The Commission voted unanimously in favor of the standard (3 to 0) on March 21, 2014.
A soft infant and toddler carrier is normally made of sewn fabric construction, designed to hold a full-term infant from 7 pounds to toddlers up to 45 pounds in an upright position. The carrier allows a child to be carried in close proximity to the caregiver on their front, back or hip. Slings and framed carriers are excluded from this standard and are covered by separate voluntary standards.
The new federal standard incorporates by reference the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (ASTM F2236-14), Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers, without modification. The mandatory soft infant and toddler carrier standard becomes effective on September 29, 2014, and applies to all soft infant and toddler carriers manufactured or imported on or after that date.
The new safety standard addresses reported hazards associated with soft infant and toddler carriers, including:
- Infant falls
- Structure, fit and position issues
- Strap issues
- Stitching and seam issues.
CPSC has received about 125 incident reports related to soft infant and toddler carriers that occurred from January 1, 1999 through July 15, 2013. Four of those incidents resulted in fatalities.
The Commission is required by The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), to issue consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. In the past 5 years, the Commission has approved new federal safety standards for children’s products, including full-size cribs, non-full-size cribs, play yards, baby walkers, baby bath seats, children’s portable bed rails, toddler beds, infant swings, bassinets and cradles, hand-held infant carriers, bedside sleepers, and strollers.