12 July 2018
New Mandatory Safety Standard Issued for Booster Seats
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule establishing a new mandatory safety standard for booster seats. This standard, which will become effective on 2 January 2020, 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 these items to the new standard.
The new standard incorporates by reference and without modification standard ASTM F2640-18, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Booster Seats. As defined by the ASTM standard, a booster seat is a juvenile chair placed on an adult chair to elevate a child to standard dining table height. It is made for the purpose of containing a child up to five years of age, normally for the purposes of feeding or eating. A booster seat may be height-adjustable and include a reclined position.
Booster seats may be constructed from a wide variety of materials, including wood, plastic, fabric, metal and/or foam. Most booster seats, notably those intended for home use, have removable trays, allowing a table to be used as an alternative eating surface. Some booster seats are intended to double as floor seats for toddlers, and others are high chair/booster seat combination products. The standard does not cover car booster seats.
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 July, the CPSC had issued standards for booster seats, high chairs, baby changing products, 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 stationary activity centres or gates and other enclosures for confining a child, although the Commission had issued a proposed standard for stationary activity centres.