The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking indicating its intent to adopt a safety standard for sling carriers, used to carry infants from birth to a weight of about 35 pounds. The proposed rule would be based on the voluntary standard developed by ASTM International, ASTM F907-14a, “Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Sling Carriers,” without change. Comments are requested by October 6, 2014.

According to CPSC, the commission is aware of 122 incidents (16 fatal and 106 nonfatal) involving sling carriers reported to have occurred between January 1, 2003, and October 27, 2013. Injuries are attributed to suffocation or falling out of the carrier, and CPSC has categorized the hazard patterns as (i) problems with positioning the infant in the sling carrier; (ii) caregiver missteps, such as slipping, tripping or bending over; (iii) undetermined or unspecified cause; (iv) buckle problems; and (v) miscellaneous, including design flaws such as a broken component, rough fabric or sharp surface. See Federal Register, July 23, 2014.