The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a mandatory safety standard last month for infant cradles and bassinets. There was opposition by one commissioner who said it unnecessarily altered a voluntary standard developed by industry and consumer groups. Four of the agency’s five commissioners voted to approve the final rule. The ruling was in response to a Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 directive to create safety standards for durable infant and toddler products. Commissioner Nancy Nord, a Republican, voted against the rule. It should be noted that the CPSC reports that more than 130 infants have died in incidents involving cradles and bassinets since November 2007.
The CPSC made several changes to the voluntary standard for the products established by the standards development organization ASTM International. The CPSC rule alters the pass-fail criterion for a mattress flatness test and exempts from the mattress flatness requirement bassinets that are less than 15 inches across. In a statement, Commissioner Nord took issue with the change to the mattress flatness test criterion. She contended that the two standards are materially identical, saying: they use the same test, which involves putting a weight on a mattress seam. She also pointed out that passage of the test is based on whether the angle between the weight and mattress is 10 degrees or less. The voluntary standard allows products whose first test angle is above 10 degrees, but below 14 degrees to perform the test twice more and take the average of the three angles. By contrast, the CPSC standard allows for only one make-or-break test angle.
As part of the rule, the CPSC also added a stability requirement for removable bassinet beds. The agency has allowed manufacturers an additional year to comply with that requirement. The general standard will be effective six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register. The bassinet and cradle standard was preceded by final rules for infant swings, issued in November, and children’s play yards, issued in August 2012, among others.
Sources: Greg Ryan and Law360.com
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.