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OutReach

ASTM Infant Swings Spec Adopted in CPSC Rule

May 7, 2013, Set as Effective Date for RulingProvisions from ASTM International F2088-12a, Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Swings, have been incorporated in a newly approved U.S. federal mandatory safety standard, passed unanimously by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, to improve the safety of infant swings and prevent child injuries and deaths. The new federal requirement establishes a minimum safety level that an infant swing product must meet before it can be sold in the U.S.

Between May 2011 and May 2012, CPSC compiled reports of 351 infant swing-related incidents that happened from 2009 to 2012. Two of these incidents resulted in fatalities and 24 incidents resulted in injury.

F2088 was developed by Subcommittee F15.21 on Infant Carriers, Bouncers and Baby Swings, part of ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products. Originally published in 2001 and most recently revised in 2012, F2088 defines “infant swing” as “a stationary unit with a frame and powered mechanism that enables an infant to swing in a seated position. An infant swing is intended for use with infants from birth until a child is able to sit up unassisted.”

“The CPSC adoption of F2088 as a federal rule would require all infant swings introduced into commerce be compliant with the standard,” says Clair Arsenault, compliance and quality manager, Artsana USA (Chicco USA) and co-chairman of Subcommittee F15.21.

The effective date for the CPSC standard is May 7, 2013. The new federal standard requires the following:

  • A stronger, more explicit warning label about preventing slump-over deaths. The warning advises consumers to use a swing in the most reclined position until an infant is four months old and can hold up its head without help;
  • A stability test that ensures the swing will not tip over;
  • A test that checks for unintentional folding prevention;
  • Tests on restraint systems, which are intended to prevent slippage and breakage of the restraints during use;
  • That the cradle swing surface remain relatively flat while in motion and at rest;
  • Electrically powered swings to be designed to prevent battery leakage and overheating;
  • Toy mobiles to be designed to ensure that toys do not detach when pulled;
  • Swings with seats angles greater than 50 degrees to have shoulder strap restraints; and
  • Dynamic and static load requirements to ensure that infant swings can handle specified loads without breaking.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.