WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new safety standard for infant sleep products has taken effect for babies up to five months old, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced this past week.
The rule applies to any inclined sleep products as well as cribs, bassinets and cradles, play yards and bedside sleepers manufactured after June 23. The rule makes it unlawful to sell non-compliant products after that date.
For full-sized cribs, the standard prohibits traditional drop sides and has stringent requirements for various elements of the crib including mattress supports, slats and hardware, the CPSC said. The principal requirements are as follows:
+ Dynamic impact testing of the mattress support system – intended to address incidents involving collapse or failure of mattress support systems;
+ Impact testing of side rails and slat strength/integrity testing – intended to prevent slats and spindles from breaking and/or detaching during use;
+ Mattress support system testing – intended to ensure that the mattress support does not become detached from the frame, potentially resulting in a fall;
+ Latching mechanism tests – intended to ensure that latching and locking mechanisms work as intended, preventing unintended folding while in use;
+ Crib side configurations – intended, in part, to limit movable (drop) sides; it also addresses the numerous incidents related to drop-side failures;
+ Label requirements – cover numerous hazards, such as falls from the crib, suffocation on soft bedding and strangulation on strings and cords;
+ Openings requirement for mattress support systems – addresses gaps in the mattress support system to reduce the possibility of entrapment;
+ Requirements for wood screws and other fasteners – eliminates the use of wood screws that serve as the primary method of attachment on key structural elements. It also includes other fastener requirements to address incidents related to loose hardware and poor structural integrity;
+Improper assembly issues – addresses the need to make it impossible to improperly assemble key elements and makes sure those elements have markings that make it obvious when they have been assembled improperly;
+ Component spacing – intended to prevent child entrapment between uniformly and non-uniformly spaced components, such as slats.
+ Cyclic testing – addresses incidents involving hardware loosening and poor structural integrity;
+ A test requirement for accessories – intended to address any cribs that now, or may in the future, include accessories, such as bassinets or changing tables.
The CPSC said it plans a comprehensive outreach effort to manufacturers, importers and sellers to enforce the new rule. This includes helping to educate them about the requirements, and making sure they understand compliance obligations.
The CPSC also noted that crib mattresses are not covered by the full-size crib standard, but are subject to the mattress flammability testing requirements of 16 CFR Part 1632 and16 CFR Part 1633. Voluntary standards also remain in place for crib mattresses.
The CPSC noted that products that are not intended or marketed for infant sleep are not impacted by the rule, while also emphasizing that the safest place for a baby to sleep is a flat, bare surface solely dedicated to the infant.