A tremendous number of baby products, including pint-size hammocks, recliners and some bassinets, aren’t subject to federal or even industry standards. It was pointed out in USA Today that the number of these products could be in the millions and that products such as the Nap Nanny recliner; the Bumbo baby seat, (which consumer advocates want recalled and redesigned), and travel beds for infants lack government regulation. Nancy Cowles, who is with the advocacy group Kids in Danger, had this to say about the problem:
Parents assume that products they use with their babies have been tested for safety, but products such as these fall outside the scope of recognized standards and might pose unknown risks — even if the company makes up their own testing.
All children’s products have to meet standards that prohibit sharp points or edges and restrict hazardous substances such as lead, and product-specific rules help guard against injuries from certain designs. A 2008 product safety law requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission to turn industry standards for children’s products into federal mandates. Industry standards for infant slings were finalized in February. But it can be difficult for regulators to keep up with all the new baby products, including designs that defy traditional classification, experts say.
A product doesn’t have to be covered by a safety standard to be recalled. The CPSC can recall a product even if it “presents a substantial product hazard.” The following children’s products are covered by federal safety standards: cribs, baby bath seats, infant walkers, toddler beds, and bed rails. There are federal rules in the works this year for the following products: play yards, bassinets, cradles, strollers, and infant carriers.
Source: USA Today
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