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From Products Liability Law Daily, March 6, 2014

CPSC approves new safety standard for carriages and strollers

By Joe Bichl

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a new federal mandatory standard intended to improve the safety of infant’s and children’s carriages and strollers, with the three commissioners voting unanimously in favor of the standard. CPSC has received approximately 1,300 incident reports related to strollers reported from January 1, 2008, through June 30, 2013. Four of the incidents involved a fatality. A draft of the final standard was made available on the CPSC website prior to its publication in the Federal Register.

Under the direction of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, CPSC is required to issue safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. Over the past five years, CPSC has approved new safety standards for 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, and bedside sleepers.

Strollers, carriages defined. For the purposes of the standard, CPSC defined strollers as wheeled vehicles used to transport children—usually from infancy to 36 months of age—in a sitting-down position. By contrast, carriages are wheeled vehicles used to transport an infant in a lying-down position. Within the scope of the new standard, Carriages and strollers include full-size 2D strollers that fold in front-to-back (or back-to-front) and 3D strollers that fold in front-to-back (or back-to-front), as well as side-to-side directions, travel systems (including car seats), tandem, side-by-side, multi-occupant, and jogging strollers.

Final rule. The new incorporates by reference the most recent voluntary standard created by ASTM International—ASTM F833-13b, “Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Carriages and Strollers,” with a modification to address head entrapment hazards associated with multi-positional/adjustable grab bars.

In addition, the new standard addresses hazards associated with strollers reported to CPSC, including:

  • Hinge issues that have resulted in pinched, cut, or amputated fingers or arms;

  • Broken and detached wheels;

  • Parking brake failures;

  • Locking mechanism problems;

  • Restraint issues, such as a child unbuckling the restraint and restraint breakage or detachment;

  • Structural integrity; and

  • Stability.

MainStory: TopStory FinalRules BabyProductsNews

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