13 April 2017
CPSC Adopts New Safety Standards for Infant Bath Tubs, Seeks Input on Potential Standards for Certain Sleep Products
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule establishing a new safety standard for infant bath tubs. This standard is a children's product safety rule that will require the issuance of a notice of requirements to explain how laboratories can become accredited as third-party conformity assessment bodies to test infant bath seats to the new standard. This rule will become effective as of 2 October.
The new standard incorporates by reference voluntary standard ASTM F2670-17, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bath Tubs, without modification. ASTM F2670-17 defines an infant bath tub as a tub, enclosure or other similar product intended to hold water and be placed into an adult bath tub or sink or on top of other surfaces to provide support or containment, or both, for an infant in a reclining, sitting or standing position during bathing by a caregiver. Falling within this definition are products of various designs, including bucket-style tubs that support a child sitting upright, tubs with an inclined seat for infants too young to sit unsupported, inflatable tubs, folding tubs, and tubs with spa features such as handheld shower attachments and even whirlpool settings. The ASTM standard permits infant bath tubs to have a permanent or removable passive crotch restraint as part of their design but does not permit any additional restraint systems that require action on the part of the caregiver to secure or release. Products commonly known as bath slings, which are typically made of fabric or mesh, are excluded from this standard.
Separately, the CPSC is seeking input from interested parties by 21 June on a proposal to adopt a mandatory safety standard for infant inclined sleep products. Conceived as an outgrowth of the safety standard for bassinets and cradles, as infant inclined sleep products could be considered a type of bassinet, this rulemaking addresses products primarily intended and marketed to provide sleeping accommodations for infants up to five months old (three months old for certain smaller products), with at least one inclined sleep surface position greater than ten degrees but not greater than 30 degrees. Products may additionally be intended for older children, possibly in a different configuration, provided their intended use also includes children up to five months.
Subject merchandise includes various types of infant inclined sleep products, such as hammocks, new-born or infant frame type products, compact inclined sleep products, and inclined sleep product accessories. Products intended for use with new-borns are generally similar in design to those intended for infants, except that the former have a seat back length of 17 inches or less.
The new standard would incorporate by reference the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International, ASTM F3118-17, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Inclined Sleep Products, with a modification to the standard’s definition of “accessory.” Specifically, the term “rigid frame” would be removed from the “accessory” definition to further reduce the risk of injury associated with product use. CPSC staff believes that most of the requirements of ASTM F3118-17 are otherwise sufficient to reduce the risk of injury posed by inclined sleep products.