New Safety Standard for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers to be Effective Sept. 29
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule establishing a mandatory safety standard for soft infant and toddler carriers. This standard will become effective Sept. 29, 2014.
The new standard incorporates voluntary standard ASTM F2236-14, “Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers.” ASTM F2236-14 defines soft infant and toddler carriers as products normally of sewn fabric construction that are designed to contain a full-term infant to a toddler (i.e., children between seven and 45 pounds), generally in an upright position, in close proximity to the caregiver. These carriers may be worn on the front, side or back of the caregiver’s body, with the infant facing either toward or away from the caregiver.
There are two broad classes of soft infant and toddler carriers available in the U.S.: structured and non-structured. Structured carriers contain straps and waist belts that connect to the seat area and each other with buckles, straps and other mechanical fasteners. The straps, belts and seating area are often stiffened with padding and typically have a heavy textile covering. Non-structured products consist of a flat, textile center that acts as the seat area with waist straps and very long upper straps that wrap over the caregiver’s shoulders, cross in the back and are brought around the waist to the front, where they form the leg openings and secure the child in an upright position. Slings (including wraps) and framed backpack carriers are not included in ASTM F2236-14 and are not covered by the new standard.