Since the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed in 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been looking at standards for various products. Today it announced the first mandatory standard issued for infant and toddler products.
The rule will change the way infant bath seats are designed to require stricter standards to prevent the bath seat from tipping over. They will also be required to have tighter leg openings to keep children from slipping through the leg openings and a larger more permanent label warning parents and caregivers to never leave a child unattended.
Infant bath seats are used in a sink or tub to provide back and front support to a seated infant while he or she is being bathed. They are marketed for use with infants between five and 10 months of age.
From 1983 through November 2009, there were 174 reported deaths involving bath seats and 300 reported non fatal bath seat incidents. Many of the deaths and incidents involve babies left unattended while bathing. Back in 2000 there was a proposal to ban these infant bath seats.
The CPSC has determined no baby bath seat currently on the market complies with the new mandatory standard. So within six months of this rule, manufacturers will be required to meet these new standards.
This is likely the first of many changes the CPSC will make to children products. The agency is currently studying 20 other products including bassinets, cribs and infant walkers.