New Federal Safety Standards for Baby Changing Products

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new federal safety standards for baby changing products.  As a parent, you want to make sure that the products you use for your family are safe.  Here is what you need to know about the new federal safety standards and how it could impact the products you use for your family. If you have questions, contact Birth Injury Guide to get answers.

New Federal Safety Standards for Baby Changing Products

According to the CPSC, the federal safety standards are aimed at improving the safety of baby changing products including tables, accessories, add-on changing units, and changing pads.  The new standards include the ASTM International standard ASTM F2388-18, which is the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Baby Changing Products for Domestic Use.

The ASTM standard relates to hazard patterns associated with consumer use of baby changing products, and includes specific requirements related to structural and restraint-system integrity, warning labels, and instructional literature.  The new standards do not apply to baby changing products used in public restrooms or facilities.

Infant and toddler products are required to meet certain standards under the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, which is Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).  The Commission has approved the new federal safety standards for infant and toddler products classified as durable, including the following products:

  • Full-size cribs
  • Non-full-size cribs
  • Play yards (playpen, pack-and-play)
  • Baby walkers
  • Baby bath seats
  • Children’s portable bed rails
  • Strollers
  • Toddler beds
  • Infant swings
  • Handheld and soft infant carriers
  • Bassinets
  • Cradles
  • Portable hook-on chairs
  • Sling carriers
  • Infant bouncer seats
  • Infant high chairs

The Commission made a unanimous vote to approve the new safety standards in June 2018.  The new standards are said to become effective on June 26, 2019.

Federal Safety Standards Aimed at Improving Safety

According to the CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), from 2005 to 2016, more than 39,000 injuries to infants and children under three years old were related to baby changing products.  This estimate includes only children treated at U.S.  hospital emergency rooms.  The number may actually be higher.

Between 2005 and 2017, the CPSC has received 188 reports of incidents involving baby changing products.  Of these 188 incidents, 31 injuries were reported, and seven deaths.  In the nonfatal incidents, the primary cause was structural integrity issues causing a hazard.  In the incidents where death was reported, the cause of death was primarily listed as asphyxia, or suffocation.  In most of these cases, an infant was sleeping on the baby changing product at the time of the incident.

Product safety standards are also aimed at improving the manufacturing process to ensure that products are safe and effective for consumer use.  When products are defective, consumers are at risk of illness or injury that could have been avoided.  Unfortunately, infant and children’s products, such as car seats and changing tables, are often the subject of warnings and recalls due to defects or other dangers.

If you have questions about product safety, or believe that you have been injured by a defective product, contact Birth Injury Guide to speak with one of our attorneys about your legal rights as a consumer.

What Parents Need to Know about Baby Changing Product Safety

One of the new safety standards that baby changing product manufacturers will have to abide by is more strict rules about warning labels and instructions for use.  This is important for parents to ensure that infant or toddler items are being properly used and maintained.

When choosing a changing table or other infant or toddler products, consider the following safety tips:

  • Choose a changing table that is flat and has a guardrail.
  • Changing table pads should be lower in the middle and higher on the sides to prevent the infant from rolling off the table.
  • Changing tables that are wood and have rails are the least likely to sway or tip over when placed on the floor.
  • If you use a fold-up model, check it for sturdiness before use. Give the product a good shake and test the pad to make sure it will not fold up.

In terms of safety when using baby changing products, consider the following:

  • Keep changing items in a nearby drawer or on a shelf. Products should be easily in reach of you, but not your baby.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents to never leave their child unattended while on a changing table or within reach of changing products.
  • If your changing table is equipped with a safety belt, use it every time you change your baby.
  • Pay attention to the age or weight limit of changing tables and other products. Once your child has reached those maximum recommendations, stop using the products in order to avoid possible malfunction.

Have Questions about Product Safety?

As a consumer, you put your trust in manufacturers to provide products that are safe and effective.  Unfortunately, that does not always happen.  Products can be manufactured with defects, or can malfunction.  Labels can be incorrect, or there may be no labels at all with warnings or instructions.

To find out more about your legal rights as a consumer, and what options you may have if you have been injured by a defective baby changing product or other product, contact Birth Injury Guide.  Start a free case review with one of our birth injury lawyers by filling out our online form, or by calling us at 1-877-415-6603.

Meagan Cline

Written By Meagan Cline

Meagan Cline is a professional legal researcher and writer. She lends her expertise to the team at Birth Injury Guide to provide up-to-date and relevant content that clients can count on.