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From Products Liability Law Daily, February 25, 2015

Frame child carriers safety standard released

By Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

A new federal mandatory standard intended to improve the safety of frame child carriers has been approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Commission voted unanimously (5-0) in favor of the standard on February 18, 2015. 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 will take effect 18 months after its publication in the Federal Register, and will apply to all frame child carriers manufactured or imported on or after that date (CPSC Release, No. 15-085, February 24, 2015).

The agency took this action pursuant to the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), which requires CPSC to promulgate consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. The term “durable infant or toddler product” is defined in section 104(f)(1) of the CPSIA as “a durable product intended for use, or that may be reasonably expected to be used, by children under the age of 5 years.” That same section specifically identifies “infant carriers” as a durable infant or toddler product.

The new standard defines a frame child carrier as a product, normally 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. Slings and soft carriers are excluded from this standard and are covered by separate standards.

The following reported hazards associated with frame child carriers are among those addressed by ASTM F2549-14a and have been fully incorporated into the final standard: sharp points; small parts; lead in paint; flammability requirements; scissoring, shearing, and pinching; openings; exposed coil springs; locking and latching (for carriers that fold for storage); unintentional folding (for carriers with kick stands that can stand freely); labeling; 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.

MainStory: TopStory ChildrensProductsNews

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