Background

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting comments through June 17 on its proposal to issue a mandatory safety standard for crib bumpers and liners. If this standard is finalized it will also be a children's product safety rule that requires the issuance of a notice of requirements to explain how laboratories can become accredited as third-party conformity assessment bodies to test products to the new standard. Further, the CPSC is proposing to identify crib bumpers and liners as durable infant or toddler products, which would require manufacturers to establish a consumer registration program.

Traditionally, the CPSC states, crib bumpers are infant bedding accessories that attach to the interior perimeter of a crib and function as a barrier between the infant and the sides of the crib. The most common type consists of one or more rectangular fabric panels, constructed of cotton or polyester, with filling material for padding and with fasteners to attach to a crib. These products are commonly marketed as preventing injury to infants from impacts against the sides of a crib and preventing limb entrapments between crib slats.

Less common designs include vertical bumpers or liners, which essentially are a series of small bumpers that individually enshroud each vertical crib slat or spindle. Other variants include braided bumpers, which consist of two or more fabric sleeves containing filling material that are braided together, and bumpers marketed with claims of being breathable. Mesh crib liners tend to be thinner than traditional bumpers and to have minimal, if any, padding.

For more information on product safety issues, please contact Beth Ring at (212) 549-0133 or Ned Steiner at (202) 730-4970.

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