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From Products Liability Law Daily, January 13, 2017

New safety standard for infant sling carriers receives CPSC approval

By Colleen Kave, J.D.

A new mandatory standard intended to improve the safety of infant sling carriers and prevent deaths and injuries to young children has been adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The new federal safety standard, approved by a 3-2 vote on January 11, 2017, incorporates the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (ASTM F2907-15), Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Sling Carriers, with one modification which requires warning labels to be more permanent by preventing the labels from being attached to the sling carrier along only one side of the label. The effective date for the new mandatory infant sling carrier standard will be one year after the final rule is published in the Federal Register (CPSC Release, No. 17-069, January 13, 2017).

Infant sling carriers are worn by parents or caregivers and are designed to carry infants and toddlers between 8 and 35 pounds. Slings can pose suffocation hazards for babies as well as fall hazards for infants and toddlers. Between January 2003 and September 2016, 159 incidents were reported to CPSC involving sling carriers; 17 were fatal and 142 were nonfatal. Of the 142 nonfatal incidents, 67 reports involved an injury to the infant during use of the product. Among the 67 reported nonfatal injuries, 10 involved hospitalizations.

The Commission is required by The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), to issue consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. The new federal safety standard for sling carriers requires, among other things: that slings can carry up to three times the manufacturer’s maximum recommended weight; that the structural integrity of slings is tested to ensure there are no seam separations, fabric tears, breakage, etc.; and that slings prevent the child being carried from falling out during normal use. Additionally, the standard requires slings to come with warning labels and instructional literature that provide illustrations of the proper position of a child in the sling; a warning statement of the suffocation hazard posed by slings and prevention measures; a warning statement about children falling out of slings; and a reminder for caregivers to check the buckles, snaps, rings and other hardware to make sure no parts are broken.

MainStory: TopStory BabyProductsNews

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