18 June 2019
New Mandatory Safety Standards for Stationary Activity Centres
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a final rule establishing a new mandatory safety standard for stationary activity centres. Slated to enter into force on 18 December, the mandatory standard incorporates by reference with no modifications ASTM F2012-18, Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Stationary Activity Centers. The CPSC has also amended its regulations for third-party conformity assessment bodies to include this safety standard in the list of notices of requirements.
SACs are described in ASTM F2012-18 as a free-standing product intended to remain stationary that enables a sitting or standing occupant whose torso is completely surrounded by the product to walk, rock, play, spin or bounce, or all of these, within a limited range of motion. This definition does not include doorway jumpers. SACs are intended for children who are not yet able to walk but who are able to hold up their heads unassisted. These products vary in style and design complexity but typically consist of a seat that is suspended from a frame by springs or supported from the bottom by a fixed base. ASTM F2012-18 defines three types of SACs: closed-base SACs, open-base SACs and spring-supported SACs.
ASTM F2012-18 sets forth test methods and requirements regarding sharp edges or points; small parts; latching or locking mechanisms to prevent unintentional folding; openings; scissoring, shearing or pinching; exposed coil springs; toy accessories sold with SACs; protective components; spring failures on spring-supported SACs; structural integrity; leg openings; stability (including tip overs and seat tilt); motion resistance; warnings and labels; and instructional literature.
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. In addition to SACs, as of mid-June 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 gates and other enclosures for confining a child.