Safety Standard for Infant Sling Carriers Now in Effect
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that a new federal mandatory safety standard for infant sling carriers will apply to any such product imported or manufactured after Jan. 30. CPSC commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle said last year when the standard was approved that it will require all such slings to be certified based on third-party testing, even those produced by “the smallest sling makers,” because Congress did not allow a “small batch” exemption for this type of safety standard.
Infant sling carriers are worn by the parent or caregiver and are designed to carry an infant/toddler in an upright or reclined position. Slings generally are intended for infants and toddlers between 8 and 35 pounds. Designs typically range from unstructured hammock-shaped products that suspend from the caregiver’s body to long lengths of material or fabric that wrap around the caregiver’s body.
The CPSC states that under the new standard all infant slings must have permanently attached warning labels and come with instructions, like illustrated diagrams, to show the proper position of a child in the sling. Warning labels must include statements about the suffocation hazards posed by slings and prevention measures, the hazards of 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. The standard also requires sling carriers to be able to carry up to three times the manufacturer’s maximum recommended weight; be more durable to avoid seam separations, fabric tears, breakage, etc.; and be able to keep the child being carried from falling out of the sling during normal use.