Mandatory safety standards proposed for infant rockers

By | 2023-10-30T22:59:18+00:00 October 30th, 2023|Imports|

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is proposing a new Rule to establish a formal safety standard for the manufacture and import of baby and baby/toddler rockers.

The ASTM standard F3084–22 defines an infant rocker as a “freestanding product intended to support an occupant who has not developed the ability to sit up unassisted (approximately 0 to 6 months of age) in a seated, reclined position greater than 10 degrees and to facilitate rocking by the occupant with the aid of the caregiver or by other means.”

An infant/toddler rocker is defined as “a freestanding product intended to support an occupant in a seated, reclined position greater than 10° and to facilitate rocking by the occupant with the aid of the caregiver or by other means until the occupant is approximately 2 1/2 years.”

Products within scope include:

  • Infant rockers marketed for infants up to approximately six months old
  • Infant/toddler rockers marketed for children up to approximately 2.5 years old
  • Combination rocker/bouncers (bouncers with curved rocker legs)
  • Combination swings/rockers (rockers that attach to a stationary swing base)
  • Other combination products, such as rocker/bouncer/stationary chair products

Lack of formal safety standard

There is currently no mandatory safety standard for infant rockers or infant/toddler rockers, although a voluntary ASTM standard was published in 2014 and has been updated several times since then.

Making those safety standards mandatory would help address the known safety hazards of rockers, which include risk of suffocation, hardware and mechanical failures, and falling and tipping risks.

From 2011 to 2022 there have been 1,088 reported incidents involving infant and infant/toddler rockers, with 88 non-fatal injuries and 11 deaths.

The CPSC anticipates that most rocker models would require at least some redesign to meet the requirements of the standard, but some of these could be relatively inexpensive, such as changing the seat angle or modifying the restraints. Products that currently meet all physical performance requirements might only need the new warning sticker or a stamped-on label. Combination products that are compliant with the mandatory bouncer chair standard or the swing standard and have no hanging restraint straps may require minimal redesign or none at all.

How will this affect importers?

Products manufactured or imported before the effective date of the final rule could still be sold, but in the longer-term, the Notice could have a significant impact on importers and manufacturers whose products may not be consistent with the requirements.

Most rocker products on the market would require redesign to meet the proposed rule and would need new labeling. The extent of the required modifications would depend on whether the products already meet the ASTM standard for rockers or, for multi-mode products, the similar mandatory standards for bouncer chairs or swings. Manufacturers whose products do not meet the performance requirements in the Notice will need to redesign the products or remove the products from the market.

Interested parties have until Dec. 26, 2023 to offer feedback on the proposal. Read the full proposal here.

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