On Tuesday, November 13, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted collectively (3-0) to support a new federal mandatory safety standard for infant swings to prevent injuries and deaths to young children.
Over the course of a year, CPSC has received 351 reports that occurred between 2009 and 2012 involving infant swing-related incidents. Two of the 351 reports resulted in fatalities; 24 of the nonfatal accidents resulted in injuries.
The new federal standard 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.
The new standard reflects an important step forward toward enhancing the safety of these children’s products. Unfortunately, there are far too many consumer products intended for use by children which make their way into the streams of commerce, with the potential to severely injure or kill unsuspecting children. If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries, or if a loved one has suffered wrongful death as the result of a defective infant swing or negligence in the design or manufacture of a children’s product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.