Background

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting comments through Jan. 11 on its proposal to issue a mandatory safety standard for crib mattresses. 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 mattresses as durable infant or toddler products, which would require manufacturers to establish a consumer registration program.

The scope of the proposed rule includes full-size and non-full-size crib mattresses, as well as after-market mattresses for play yards and non-full-size cribs. The proposal would incorporate by reference ASTM F2933-19, with modifications to make the standard more stringent to further reduce the risk of injury associated with the use of crib mattresses. Proposed modifications address:

- suffocation hazards associated with crib mattresses due to overly soft mattresses, by adding a test for mattress firmness based on sections 6 and 8 of AS/NZS 8811.1:2013 – Methods of testing infant products – Method 1: Sleep Surfaces – Test (AS/NZS 8811.1);

- entrapment hazards associated with full-size crib mattresses due to poor mattress fit from compression by sheets, by repeating the dimensional conformity test and measuring for corner gaps, after installing a shrunken (by washing twice) cotton sheet;

- entrapment hazards associated with after-market, non-full-size crib mattresses due to lack of dimensional requirements for rectangular-shaped products, by extending the dimensional requirements in ASTM F2933-19 section 5.7.2 to all non-full-size crib mattresses, regardless of mattress shape and regardless of whether the mattress is sold with a non-full-size crib or as an after-market mattress;

- laceration hazards associated with coils and springs breaking and poking through mattresses, by adding a cyclic impact test for mattresses that use coils and springs; and

- the risks of sudden infant death syndrome and suffocation related to infant positioning, soft bedding, and gap entrapment, by improving the labeling and instructional literature requirements to communicate risks better to consumers and to clarify requirements for manufacturers and test labs.

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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