Feds Approve New Federal Safety Standard for Infant Swings

Included is a stability test and a warning label on the proper age for usage

In an effort to prevent injuries and deaths to children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has unanimously (3-0) approved a new federal mandatory safety standard to improve the safety of infant swings.

Infant swings are stationary juvenile products with a frame and powered mechanism that enables an infant to swing in a seated position. The swing is intended for use with infants from birth until a child is able to sit up unassisted. Cradle and travel swings are included in the standard.

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 those incidents resulted in fatalities, while 349 were nonfatal. Twenty-four of the nonfatal incidents resulted in injuries.

The effective date for the mandatory infant swing standard is May 7, 2013.  

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.
Consumer Affairs

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