22 June 2018
CPSC Adopts Safety Standards for High Chairs, Revises Standards for Certain Baby Cribs
The Consumer Product Safety Commission on 8 June voted unanimously to approve a mandatory safety standard for high chairs. The final rule incorporates by reference ASTM F404-18, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for High Chairs, and amends the regulations regarding third-party conformity assessment bodies to include the safety standard for high chairs in the list of notices of requirements. The mandatory standard will enter into force on 19 June 2019.
ASTM F404-18 defines a “high chair” as “a free standing chair for a child up to 3 years of age which has a seating surface more than 15 in. above the floor and elevates the child normally for the purposes of feeding or eating.” The ASTM standard further specifies that a high chair may be sold with or without a tray, have adjustable heights or recline for infants. High chairs are available in various designs, including four-legged A-frame styles, single-leg pedestals, Z-frame styles and restaurant-style. Construction materials often include a plastic, wood or metal frame as well as a padded fabric seat. Some designs include a tray or mounted toy accessories, fold for storage and transport, or convert for continued use as a child grows. ASTM F404-18 requires high chairs to have a passive crotch restraint (i.e., two separate bounded openings for the occupant’s legs) and a three-point restraint system. Some designs also include a rigid front torso support or a five-point restraint system with shoulder harnesses.
Separately, the CPSC has voted to revise the mandatory safety standard for non-full-size baby cribs to incorporate by reference the most recent ASTM standard, ASTM F406-17 (Standard Consumer Safety Performance for Non-Full-Size Baby Cribs/Play Yards). This action will become effective on 10 September unless the CPSC receives significant adverse comments.
Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires the CPSC to promulgate consumer product safety standards for a range of durable infant or toddler products. These standards must be substantially the same as applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standard if the Commission determines that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product. As of early June, the CPSC had issued standards for high chairs, bassinets and cradles, bath seats, infant bath tubs, bed rails (portable), bedside sleepers, full-size cribs, non-full-size cribs, infant swings, infant walkers, play yards, strollers and carriages, toddler beds, hand-held infant carriers, frame child carriers, portable hook-on chairs, soft infant and toddler carriers, infant sling carriers, infant bouncer seats, and children’s folding chairs and stools. As of that date standards had not yet been adopted for baby changing products, stationary activity centres, booster seats, and gates and other enclosures for confining a child, although the Commission had issued proposed standards for some of these products (i.e., booster seats and baby changing products). A proposal to adopt mandatory standards for infant inclined sleep products is also currently under consideration.