Consumer Agency Issues Crib/Play Yard Rules

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued new construction and testing standards for baby cribs with play yards.
     The CPSC was compelled to propose the regulations following the death of an infant who died when the mattress she was sleeping on tilted, causing her to roll into a corner and suffocate.
     “End supported rods, which attached two of the bassinet accessory’s four sides to the play yard rails, were omitted during assembly. The other two sides were attached with plastic clips. After the infant was left to sleep, one of the plastic clips that attached the bassinet accessory to the play yard detached. Because the support rods were not in place to secure the bassinet accessory, the bassinet sleep surface tilted, and the infant slid into the corner of the tilted bassinet accessory and suffocated,” the CPSC said in its action.
     The new standards require baby cribs and play yards to be permanently attached to one another, or that the bassinet accessory pass a battery of “catastrophic failure” tests meant to make misassembly obvious.
     In the case of the infant death, the assembler did not see that the supporting rods were missing or that that the configuration posed a risk of product failure without them, according to the CPSC in its action.
     The rule is “meant to ensure that the omission of a key structural element would be so visually obvious that the consumer would not use the product and place the child in danger inadvertently. To pass the test, the item must fail catastrophically when each key structural element is omitted,” the CPSC noted in its action.
     The CPSC, which has separate standards for non-full-size cribs, worked with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to develop the regulations, incorporating some of the ASTM’s current standards.

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