The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has granted a petition from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) asking that it begin a rulemaking to address the purported hazards posed by crib bumpers. Although JPMA’s petition reportedly requested only that CPSC distinguish between hazardous “soft” pillow-like crib bumper pads and traditional crib bumpers, CPSC called JPMA’s framework “too narrow” in scope and indicated that it would assess other types of bumpers in addition to the two types specified by JPMA.
“Because we—and, more importantly, families with babies—desperately need clarity, we directed our staff to commence rulemaking on crib bumpers, but in a broader, more comprehensive—and, I believe, more effective—fashion than the Petitioner requested,” said CPSC Chair Inez Tenenbaum. Calling for a two-part approach, Tenenbaum indicated that CPSC staff will (i) explore available regulatory options, including a staff assessment of the effectiveness of any related voluntary consumer product safety standards, as well as an assessment of whether a more stringent standard would further reduce the risk of injury associated with crib bumpers; and (ii) develop performance requirements and test methods that identify which types of crib bumpers have characteristics that present safety hazards. See Inez Tenenbaum Statement, June 3, 2013.