New Safety Standard for Infant Carriers to Take Effect in June 2014
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule establishing a mandatory safety standard for handheld infant carriers. This standard will become effective June 6, 2014.
The standard is based on the voluntary standard ASTM F2050-13a, “Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Hand-Held Infant Carriers.” ASTM F2050-13a defines a handheld infant carrier as a freestanding, rigid-sided product intended to carry an occupant whose torso is completely supported by the product to facilitate transportation by a caregiver by means of hand-holds or handles. This standard references two types of such carriers: handheld bassinets/cradles that incline 10 degrees or less from horizontal and sit directly on the floor, and handheld carrier seats that incline more than 10 degrees from horizontal and are often used as car seats or as attachments to strollers or high chair bases. The CPSC adds that its standard also applies to semi-rigid-sided products such as Moses baskets, which are freestanding products with a rest/support surface to facilitate sleep that typically has semi-rigid sides and handholds or handles intended to allow carrying an occupant.
Infant carriers are one of the products specifically defined in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 as durable infant or toddler products for which safety standards must be issued. Handheld infant carriers are one of four types of products that could fall within this category, along with frame backpack carriers, soft infant and toddler carriers, and slings. The CPSC intends to address hazards associated with these other types of carriers in separate rulemaking proceedings.