The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has zeroed in on infant/baby walkers as part of its ongoing effort to provide mandatory safety standards on a range of infant and toddler products.
Infant/baby walkers are an enclosed framework on casters or wheels designed to help babies learn to walk. The new standards adopt the voluntary industry standard and include using the actual weight of a walker in calculation to determine the launching distance for the “stair fall” test, specifying equipment used in the “stair fall” test, and adding a parking brake test for walkers equipped with parking brakes.
The new mandatory standards are required under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and are designed to strengthen the current standard and reduce the risk of injury from these products. Last week, CPSC announced new safety standards on infant bath seats. The commission also is planning to review nearly 20 other durable juvenile products including bassinets and cribs.
“Our agency has been concerned for many years about babies being injured while using walkers,” says CPSC Commissioner Thomas H. Moore in a prepared statement. “The majority of the current injuries (with infant/baby walkers) are still from falls down stairs. I imagine that some of those injuries are from walkers that do not meet the ASTM voluntary standard. Having a mandatory standard will make it much easier to stop non-complying walkers at the ports before they enter our marketplace.”
The new safety standards for infant/baby walkers will go into effect six months after the requirements are published in the Federal Registers.