WASHINGTON, D.C. – To prevent deaths and injuries to infants and young children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a new federal mandatory standard intended to improve the safety of frame child carriers. The Commission voted unanimously (5-0) in favor of the standard on February 18, 2015.
A frame child carrier is made of sewn fabric construction on a tubular metal or other frame and is designed to carry a child who weighs between 16 pounds and 50 pounds and who is able to sit upright unassisted. The frame carriers are worn on the back of the caregiver. This type of carrier is often used for hiking and closely resembles hiking/mountaineering backpacks.
The new federal standard incorporates by reference, with no modifications, the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (ASTM F2549-14a), Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Frame Child Carriers. The mandatory frame child carrier standard becomes effective 18 months after the standard is published in the Federal Register, and applies to all frame child carriers manufactured or imported on or after that date.
The new safety standard addresses reported hazards associated with frame child carriers, including:
- Sharp points
- Small parts
- Lead in paint
- Flammability requirements
- Scissoring, shearing, pinching
- Exposed coil springs
- Locking and latching (for carriers that fold for storage)
- Unintentional folding (for carriers with kick stands that can stand freely)
- Protective components
- Structural integrity
- Leg openings (to help prevent smaller occupants from falling out of the carrier through a single leg opening)
- Dynamic strength (tests the frame, fasteners, and seams/stitching under dynamic conditions to help prevent breakage or separation)
- Static load (ensures the carrier can hold three times the maximum recommended weight)
- Stability (for carriers that can stand freely)
- Restraints (requires that all carriers have a restraint system and also provides a method for testing the restraints), and
- Handle integrity (helps prevent the handle from breaking or separating when it is pulled with three times the maximum recommended weight).
CPSC has received nearly 50 incident reports related to frame child carriers that occurred from January 1, 2003 through September 4, 2014. Thirty-four of those incidents resulted in injuries.
Slings and soft carriers are excluded from this standard and are covered by separate standards.
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, strollers and soft infant and toddler carriers.