WASHINGTON, D.C. – It’s a fact: young children can drown quickly, even in small amounts of water in a bath tub. A new federal mandatory safety standard aimed at helping to keep infants and toddlers from drowning while in infant bath tubs went into effect on October 2, 2017. This means that it is now illegal to sell infant bath tubs in the United States that were manufactured on or after that date, if they do not meet the new regulation.
Parents and caregivers should purchase infant bath tubs that were manufactured on or after October 2, 2017. These bath tubs must meet the new federal safety standard.
The regulation requires improvements to the warning statements printed on infant bath tubs to protect babies by providing caregivers with information about drowning and fall hazards and how to avoid these hazards. The bath tubs also must meet improved performance requirements that address infant bath tub breakage and broken locking mechanisms. The federal standard incorporates the most recent ASTM International 2017 voluntary standard, ASTM F2670-17.
Between 2004 and 2015, there were 31 infant deaths associated with infant bath tubs reported to CPSC. Thirty of the 31 deaths involved drowning when a caregiver was not present. Additionally, Commission staff estimates that 2,300 infant bath tub-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during this same time period.
Even with the new standard in place, CPSC advises parents and caregivers to be cautious when using infant bath tubs and to follow these safety tips.
- Never leave young children alone, even for a moment, near any water.
- Always keep a young child in a bath tub within arm’s reach. If you must leave, take the child with you.
- Don't leave a baby or toddler in a bath tub under the care of another young child.
- Learn CPR. It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.
Remember, baby bath tubs are not babysitters. They are bath aides. Stay vigilant at all times when your child is in or near water
The Commission voted unanimously (5-0) to approve the new federal mandatory standard for infant bath tubs on March 24, 2017.
The Commission is required by the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), to issue consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. In the past 7 years, the Commission has approved new federal safety standards for durable infant or toddler products, including full-size cribs, non-full-size cribs, play yards, baby walkers, infant bath seats, children’s portable bed rails, strollers, toddler beds, infant swings, handheld infant carriers, soft infant carriers, framed infant carriers, bassinets, cradles, portable hook-on chairs and infant sling carriers.