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CPSC Revises Safety Standards for Infant Bath Seats, Toddler Beds and Full-Size Cribs

Monday, December 09, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a direct final rule revising its safety standards for infant bath seats, toddler beds and full-size cribs to incorporate by reference more recent versions of the applicable ASTM standards. This rule will be effective as of March 24, 2014, unless the CPSC receives significant adverse comment by Jan. 8, in which case the rule will be withdrawn.

The differences between the standards the CPSC currently mandates for these products and the revised voluntary ASTM standards include the following.

Bath seats –all components needed to attach the bath seat to the bath tub must be permanently attached to the bath seat; bath seats must be tested for stability on two specific test surfaces (specific directions for preparing those surfaces are included); definition of “bath seat” now specifies better the type of support provided; two requirements for testing bath seats that use suction cups clarified

Toddler beds – ASTM has published a new version of its standard that contains 12 significant changes bringing the ASTM standard into accord with the CPSC’s mandatory standard at 16 CFR part 1217. Because the revised standard is neutral with respect to safety as compared to the prior standard, the ASTM revisions will become the CPSC-mandated standard.

Cribs – The current standard requires that before and after testing a crib must comply with all general requirements of the standard, which address the distance between slats. However, the specific testing procedure for slats allows for one slat to fail during testing if the load at failure is at least 60 pounds and an additional 25% of the slats are tested and meet the 80-pound force requirement. Thus, a tested crib potentially could comply with the specific testing procedures for slats even if a slat failed during testing, but not meet the general slat spacing requirements because of the failed slat. The revised standard provides an exception for this specific situation so that a crib’s failure to meet the slat spacing requirement under the testing circumstances described above would not cause the crib to be considered noncompliant.

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