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Safety Standard Proposed for High Chairs

Monday, November 09, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting through Jan. 25, 2016, comments on its proposal to issue a mandatory safety standard for high chairs. If this standard is finalized it will be a children's product safety rule that requires the issuance of a notice of requirements to explain how laboratories can become accredited as third-party conformity assessment bodies to test products to the new standard.

Current voluntary standard ASTM F404-15 defines a high chair as “a free standing chair for a child up to 3 years of age which has a seating surface more than 15 in. above the floor and elevates the child normally for the purposes of feeding or eating.” The ASTM standard further specifies that a high chair may be sold with or without a tray, have adjustable heights, and recline for infants.

There are various designs and construction materials for high chairs. Typical high chairs consist of a plastic, wood or metal frame, often with a padded fabric seat. Some models fold for storage and transport or convert for continued use as a child grows. Some high chairs include a removable snack tray or mounted toy accessories and some have no trays. High chairs may have a passive crotch restraint (i.e., two separate bounded openings for the occupant’s legs), a rigid front torso support, a three-point restraint system, or a five-point restraint system with shoulder harnesses. High chair designs include restaurant-style chairs, four-legged A-frame styles,  single-leg pedestals, and Z-frame styles.

The CPSC proposes to base the mandatory standard on ASTM F404-15 with more stringent requirements for rearward stability and additional content, form and/or placement provisions for on-product warning labels and instructional literature.

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