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Canada Adopts Tougher Safety Requirements for Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets

Canada has amended the safety regulations for cribs, cradles and bassinets to address certain hazards not currently addressed by these regulations, including those associated with the deformation and breakage of hardware on traditional crib drop sides. The new regulations also further align the Canadian requirements for these products with those established by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Among other things, the new regulations prohibit effective from 29 December 2016 the sale, importation, manufacture and advertisement of traditional drop-side cribs while setting performance requirements and test methods for accessories and stands for cribs, cradles and bassinets. Canadian authorities indicate that drop-side cribs generally have a tendency to be less structurally sound than cribs with fixed sides because of the additional stress caused by the repeated raising and lowering of the drop side. The hardware on these cribs can break or deform after routine use and when that occurs the drop side can detach from the crib in one or more corners and create a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. The bodies of infants and toddlers could become entrapped in this space, posing a suffocation hazard. While traditional drop-side cribs are mostly unavailable in the Canadian marketplace, they may still be found as remaining inventory in some new and second hand stores as well as at garage sales.

The new regulations include the following key elements.

  • prohibiting the sale, importation, manufacture and advertisement of cribs, cradles and bassinets with sides that are not rigidly attached to the crib, cradle or bassinet ends
  • updating the structural integrity test method for the mattress support vertical impacting of cribs and cradles such that it is more repeatable
  • adding an additional performance requirement and test method for crib slat strength
  • including a performance requirement to further safeguard against incorrect assembly of key structural components of cribs, cradles, bassinets and accessories
  • including performance requirements and test methods for accessories, such as sleep or change table accessories, that attach to cribs, cradles or bassinets
  • including performance requirements for the maximum rest angle and maximum flatness angle of cribs, cradles, bassinets, sleep accessories and stands
  • updating the completely bounded openings performance requirement and test method to clearly include cribs, cradles, bassinets and sleep accessories with sides made out of textile or other pliable materials, including removable textile or pliable material covers, under their scope
  • changing the performance requirement for the maximum height of corner posts from 3 mm to 1.5 mm
  • including a performance requirement and test method for the stability of cradles, bassinets and stands
  • introducing performance requirements and test methods for stands that are designed or advertised for use with cribs, cradles and bassinets
  • adding a performance requirement prohibiting the use of occupant restraints on cribs, cradles, bassinets and sleep accessories, as well as performance requirements and test methods limiting the length of cords and size of loops attached to cribs, cradles, bassinets, accessories and stands
  • including minor administrative revisions to other sections to improve clarity and readability
  • providing a six-month transition period for the replacement of non-compliant cribs, cradles and bassinets available in the marketplace

The ban on traditional drop-side cribs involves the adoption of a requirement that cribs with access sides having movable components intended to aid in access to the occupant have those sides rigidly attached to the crib ends and contain no movable section less than 510 millimetres above the top of the mattress support in the lowest position.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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