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Safety Standard Proposed for Carriages and Strollers

Monday, May 20, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a proposed rule that would establish a mandatory safety standard for carriages and strollers. Comments on this proposal are due no later than Aug. 5.

Strollers are specifically identified in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act as a durable infant or toddler product for which the CPSC is required to promulgate safety standards. Such standards are to be substantially the same as applicable voluntary standards or more stringent if the Commission concludes that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product. The standard being proposed is based on the voluntary standard ASTM-F833-13 (Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Carriages and Strollers), with an additional requirement and test method to address scissoring, pinching or shearing hazards at the hinge link of 2D fold strollers.

ASTM F833-13 defines a stroller as a wheeled vehicle to transport children, usually from infancy to 36 months of age and generally in a sitting-up or semi-reclined position. The motive power is supplied by a person moving at a walking rate while pushing on a handle attached to the stroller. Carriages, on the other hand, are wheeled vehicles to transport an infant, usually in a lying down position.

Both carriages and strollers may be capable of being folded for storage. Umbrella strollers are lightweight, compact when folded, and may lack certain accessories such as baskets underneath the seat or cup holders for the caregiver. Strollers that fold in two dimensions, the height and length, are called 2D strollers. Strollers that collapse in all three dimensions – height, length and width – resulting in a smaller folded package than 2D strollers are called 3D strollers. Other types of strollers include travel systems that accommodate an infant car seat on a stroller. If a stroller is intended to be used at a jogging rate, then it is called a jogging stroller. Some products can be used as both strollers and carriages (convertible carriages/strollers). Some strollers incorporate automatic or assisted folding and unfolding mechanisms.

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