Rule Will Mean a Changed—and Safer—Marketplace for Parents
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a new federal rule that will ensure that products marketed or intended for infant sleep will provide a safe sleep environment for babies under 5 months old.
Beginning in mid-2022, any product intended or marketed for infant sleep must meet a federal safety standard—a requirement that does not exist today. The new mandatory standard will effectively eliminate potentially hazardous sleep products in the marketplace that do not currently meet a CPSC mandatory standard for infant sleep, such as inclined sleepers, travel and compact bassinets, and in-bed sleepers, which have been linked to dozens of infant deaths. Popular products formerly referred to as “inclined sleep products” include several styles that have been recalled over the years.
“What we’ve done today fulfills the most sacred of our obligations as Commissioners—to take steps to protect vulnerable consumers, including babies,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “Today’s vote ensures that when a product is intended or marketed for sleep, it will indeed be safe for an infant to sleep.”
The new federal safety rule incorporates the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (ASTM F3118-17a, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Inclined Sleep Products), with modifications to make the standard more stringent. The new standard now requires that infant sleep products that do not already meet the requirements of an existing CPSC sleep standard must be tested to confirm that the angle of the sleep surface is 10 degrees or lower and that they comply with the agency’s Safety Standard for Bassinets and Cradles.
CPSC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have long warned of the dangers of bed-sharing or co-sleeping. The new rule does not take any action against bed-sharing without sleep products. Instead, it shifts responsibility to manufacturers to assist parents who want to bed-share, by requiring them to produce only products that are safe to do so. The new rule also does not extend to items that are expressly not intended or marketed for infant sleep, such as swings and car seats. CPSC reminds consumers that the safest place for a baby to sleep is a flat, bare surface dedicated to the infant. Today’s rule ensures that products marketed for sleep meet these basic safety requirements. For more on safe sleep practices, click here.
CPSC is aware of a total of 254 incidents, including 21 fatalities, related to infant sleep products (inclined and flat), occurring between January 2019 and December 2020 reported since the SNPR. The hazard patterns associated with the infant inclined sleep products include design-related issues which resulted in infants rolling over and asphyxiating, children developing respiratory problems, or developing physical deformations due to extended period of use. Hazard patterns for the flat infant sleep products included infants falling out of the product, or suffocating on soft structure sides.
For more information on the Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act), which requires the Commission to issue consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products, click here.
The Commission voted 3 to 1 to approve the standard on June 2, 2021. Later this year, the Commission expects to consider federal safety standards for crib bumpers and crib mattresses.
CPSC Commissioner Statements: