On March 10, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a briefing package for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Bassinets and Cradles under Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The draft proposed rule makes the applicable voluntary standard—ASTM F2194-07a Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bassinets and Cradles—mandatory and imposes a number of additions and modifications to strengthen the standard.

Section 104(b) of the CPSIA requires the CPSC to review current industry standards for durable nursery products and to implement mandatory requirements for such products. In developing standards under section 104, the CPSC is required to consult with representatives of consumer groups, product manufacturers, and experts to evaluate voluntary standards and to determine whether more stringent standards would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the products being regulated.

The CPSC initiated the consultation process with respect to bassinets and cradles in October 2009 during the ASTM International subcommittee meeting regarding the ASTM bassinet and cradle voluntary standard. Based on this ongoing consultation process and the evaluation of CPSC staff, the CPSC has determined to adopt the ASTM standards as mandatory standards with some additions and changes.

The ASTM Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bassinets and Cradles was most recently revised in 2007 and addresses the following issues:

  • Lead in paints
  • Hazardous sharp edges or points
  • Small parts
  • Wood parts
  • Scissoring, shearing, pinching
  • Unintentional folding
  • Openings
  • Labeling
  • Fasteners
  • Corner posts
  • Toy accessories
  • Bassinet/cradle attachments to play yards/non-full sized cribs
  • Spacing of rigid sized bassinet/cradle components
  • Openings for mesh fabric sided bassinets/cradles
  • Static load
  • Stability
  • Sleeping pad properties
  • Protective components

The modifications to the ASTM standards recommended by the CPSC staff include updated warnings and new recommended performance requirements. Specifically, the CPSC rule proposes to limit the rocking/swinging angle and rest angle of certain rocking/swinging cradles, reduce the probability of fabric sided products forming bounded areas which may suffocate infants, and require a flatness performance requirement.

A bassinet/cradle is defined under the ASTM standards as “a small bed for infants supported by free-standing legs, a wheeled base, a rocking base, or one that can swing relative to a stationary base.” The proposed rule would update the ASTM definition to provide additional clarity to producers of what products are subject to the rule.

All of the recommended change to the ASTM standard are summarized in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.