Vol. 1146 | 09 Apr 2020

As part of the rulemaking process required by Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for a new federal regulation: 16 CFR 1240 Safety Standard for Crib Bumpers. The notice proposes to adopt the existing ASTM F1917-12, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bedding and Related Accessories, with modifications.

Crib bumpers are infant bedding accessories that traditionally attach to the insides of cribs to form a barrier between the crib sides and the occupant. They are intended to function as safeguards to prevent the child’s limbs from becoming entrapped between the crib slats or children bumping up against the crib sides.

Traditionally, crib bumpers consist of one or more rectangular fabric panels, constructed of fabric, with a filling material and attached to crib sides by means of ties or other attachment means. Besides these, other bumper designs include vertical bumpers or liners, mesh liners and braided bumpers.

The NPR clarifies that all crib bumpers and liners are within the scope and further defines crib bumpers/liners as “any product intended to be placed against any portion of the interior perimeter of a crib, and that reduces or eliminates an infant's access to the crib sides, slats, spindles, or the spaces between these components.”

The CPSC’s notice of proposed rulemaking discusses the incident data and hazard patterns identified by the staff. The most common product related hazard patterns identified were:

  • Entrapment and wedging – either between the bumper and mattress or between the mattress and another object in the crib
  • Slat entrapments
  • Children climbing out
  • Child trapped under or behind bumper

The CPSC staff’s review of the current ASTM F1917-12 deemed it to be insufficient in addressing the hazard patterns identified by the incident data and having clear definitions & requirements for labeling and instructional literature. The CPSC staff noted that the ASTM subcommittee is reviewing the standard to address these topics.

Key modifications to the ASTM F1917 standard proposed in the rule include:

  • Adding definitions for crib bumper/liner, conspicuous
  • Expanding the scope of the bumper thickness requirement to apply to all bumpers; revising the test method to also specify a minimum rate and provide surface finish requirements for the fixture
  • Adding new test methods for bumper firmness and airflow requirements
  • Revising the scope and strength requirements, as well as test methods for attachment means and decorative components
  • Revised crib bumper warnings, format and placement requirements, as well as added requirements for permanency of labels and additional warnings
  • New requirements for crib bumper instructional literature

The CPSC has proposed that the rule become effective 6 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted until June 17, 2020.

The proposed rule can be viewed at: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-04-03/pdf/2020-06142.pdf

For questions, please contact Laxmi Ravikumar (laxmi.ravikumar@intertek.com, +1-630-209-9265).


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