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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued the final rules for the safety standards for booster seats and baby changing products.

Definitions

ASTM F2388–18 defines a ‘‘changing product’’ as ‘‘one of the following:

  • a changing table is ‘‘an elevated, freestanding structure generally designed to support and retain a child with a body weight of up to 30 lb. (13.6 kg) in a horizontal position for the purpose of allowing a caregiver to change the child’s diaper. Changing tables may convert from or to other items of furniture, such as, but not limited to, a dresser, desk, hutch, bookshelf, or play yard, may have pullout or drop-down changing surfaces, and may provide storage for diapers and diaper products’’;
  • a changing table accessory is ‘‘an accessory that attaches to a crib or play yard designed to convert the product into a changing table typically having a rigid frame with soft fabric or mesh sides or bottom surface, or both’’;
  • an add-on changing unit is ‘‘a rigid addition to or separate product used in conjunction with an item of furniture that provides barriers to prevent the infant from rolling off the product when a diaper is being changed’’; and
  • a contoured changing pad is ‘‘a changing pad designed for use on an elevated surface which incorporates barriers to prevent a child from rolling off the changing surface.’’

 

ASTM F2640–18 defines a ‘‘booster seat’’ as:

  • a juvenile chair, which is placed on an adult chair to elevate a child to standard dining table height. The booster seat is made for the purpose of containing a child, up to 5 years of age, and normally for the purposes of feeding or eating. A booster seat may be height adjustable and include a reclined position.

 

ASTM F2012-18 ε1 defines a “stationary activity center” as:

  • a freestanding product intended to remain stationary that enables a sitting or standing occupant whose torso is completely surrounded by the product to walk, rock, play, spin or bounce, or all of these, within a limited range of motion.

 

Age/Weight/Developmental Range

  • Baby changing product is intended for children younger than three (3) years old with a body weight of up to 30 lb. (13.6 kg)
  • Booster seat is interned for children up to five (5) years of age.
  • Stationary activity center is intended for children who have not yet reached the developmental milestone of walking. The product is intended for children who are able to hold up their heads unassisted.

 

Regulation Number

  • Baby changing product: 16 CFR Parts 1112 and 1235
  • Booster seat: 16 CFR Parts 1112 and 1237
  • Stationary activity center: 16 CFR 1112 and 1238

 

Effective Date

  • Baby changing product: June 26, 2019
  • Booster seat: January 2, 2020
  • Stationary activity center: Goes into effect 6 months after publication

 

Standard Referenced

  • ASTM F2388–18, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Baby Changing Products for Domestic Use
  • ASTM F2640–18, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Booster Seats
  • ASTM F2012-18, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Stationary Activity Centers

 

Hazards Addressed

For baby changing product

  • Suffocation or asphyxia when babies were sleeping on baby changing products
  • Structural integrity issues: A wooden shelf on the bottom of the changing table that fell because the small pins were too weak to keep the shelf in place; drawers falling out of a changing table; and bolts falling out.
  • Fall hazard

 

For booster seat

  • Restraint/Attachment Problems: Issues with the attachment mechanism included anchor buckles/clasps/straps breaking, tearing, fraying, detaching or releasing. Restraint-system problems included: buckles/prongs breaking, jamming, releasing too easily, or separating from straps; straps tearing or fraying, pinching, or coming undone; and general inadequacy or ineffectiveness of restraints in containing the child in place.
  • Seat-Related Issues: failure of the lock/latch that controls the seat-recline function; tearing, cracking, and/or peeling seat pads; detaching seat backs; failure of seat height adjustment lock/latches; and seats detaching from the base of certain models.
  • Tray-Related Issues: tray Start Printed Page 30840paint finish peeling off, trays failing to lock/stay locked, trays with sharp protrusions on the underside, trays too tight/difficult to release, and trays pinching fingers
  • Design Problems: Entrapment hazard resulting from limbs, fingers, and toes entrapped in spaces/openings between the armrest and seat back/tray, between the passive crotch-restraint bar and the seat/tray, between the tray inserts, or in toy accessories.
  • Stability-Related Issues: booster seat was attached tipping back or tipping over
  • Armrest Problems: booster seat armrests cracking or breaking
  • Miscellaneous Product Issues: variety of product-related issues, including unclear assembly instructions, poor quality construction, odor, rough surface, rough edges, breakage, or loose hardware at unspecified sites.

 

For stationary activity center

  • Spring support issues: the springs were reported to have broken, twisted, outstretched, or failed in some other manner.
  • Problems with toy accessories
  • Problems with toy accessories: straps that tore, frayed, twisted, or detached.
  • Structural integrity problems
  • Problems with seats/seat pads
  • Stability issues: problems with flimsy and/or unstable products
  • Electrical problems: leakage and/or corrosion in the batteries or failure of the circuit board on the product.
  • Design issues
  • Miscellaneous other issues

 

Why It Matters

  • The CPSC received 39,010 baby changing product-related injuries to children under 3 years old that were treated in U.S. EDs between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2016. There was a statistically significant increasing linear trend for injuries associated with baby changing products over this period. Seventy-six percent of the estimated injuries involved children between 0 and 11 months old, and 94 percent of the estimated injuries involved children under 2 years old.
  • The CPSC received a total of 912 incidents (2 fatal and 152 nonfatal injuries) related to booster seats reported to have occurred from January 1, 2008 through October 31, 2017. The 912 booster seat incidents include 45 new booster seat-related incidents reported since publication of the NPR (collected between October 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017).
  • The CPSC received a total of 3,488 reported incidents related to SACs that occurred between January 1, 2013 and September 30, 2017.

This rule will make it illegal to sell products in the U.S. that do not meet the regulation.

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