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Proposed Safety Standard for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers

Thursday, April 04, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting comments through June 19 on a proposed rule that would establish a safety standard for soft infant and toddler carriers. This standard would become effective six months after publication of a final rule.

The proposed rule is based on voluntary standard ASTM F2236-13, “Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers,” without alteration. ASTM F2236-13 defines these carriers as products normally of sewn fabric construction that are designed to contain a full-term infant to a toddler (generally from seven to 45 pounds), typically in an upright position and 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 F2236-13 and are not covered by this proposed rule.

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