The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has unanimously approved a new federal mandatory safety standard to improve the safety of infant swings to prevent injuries and deaths to children.
Infant swings are stationary juvenile products 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. Cradle and travel swings are also included in the standard.
The new federal standard, which incorporates provisions in the voluntary standard ASTM F2088 - 12a, requires the following:
- A stronger, more explicit warning label to prevent slump-over deaths. The warning advises consumers to use a swing in the most reclined position until an infant is 4 months old and can hold up its head without help;
- A stability test that prevents the swing from tipping over;
- A test that prevents unintentional folding;
- Tests on restraint systems, which are intended to prevent slippage and breakage of the restraints during use;
- The cradle swing surface to remain relatively flat, while in motion, and while 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 the infant swing can handle specified loads without breaking.
Between May 2011 and May 2012, CPSC received reports of 351 infant swing-related incidents that occurred between 2009 and 2012. Two of the incidents resulted in infant fatalities.
The effective date for the mandatory infant swing standard is May 7, 2013. The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, requires CPSC to issue safety standards for durable infant or toddler products, including infant swings.
In addition to infant swings, CPSC has issued mandatory safety standards for full-size and non-full-size cribs, play yards, children's bed rails, baby bath seats, baby walkers, and toddler beds.