The Home handed two payments on June 23, 2021 geared toward defending infants and kids from doubtlessly harmful furnishings. First, the Cease Tip-overs of Unstable, Dangerous Dressers on Youth (“STURDY”) Act would direct the Client Product Safety Fee (“CPSC”) to make new necessary guidelines for furnishings stability.1 Second, the Protected Sleep for Infants Act would forbid the sale of padded crib bumpers and inclined sleep merchandise for infants.2 These payments comply with a latest vote by the CPSC to impose new requirements on inclined sleepers. Producers and retailers ought to look out for any Senate motion taken on the 2 new payments and extra CPSC exercise in these areas.
The Historical past of Inclined Sleepers and Furnishings Tip-Overs
Lately, deaths brought on by inclined sleepers and unstable furnishings have garnered public consideration. CPSC information hyperlinks about 45 baby deaths to falling furnishings yearly.3 Equally, the CPSC linked not less than 73 toddler deaths to inclined sleepers in 2019 alone.4 These issues of safety entered the general public dialogue following some highly-publicized baby and toddler deaths in 2014.5
Beginning in 2015, the CPSC responded with public consciousness campaigns, voluntary requirements, and remembers. To handle the furnishings stability problem, the CPSC launched its Anchor It! marketing campaign in 2015.6 The marketing campaign educated dad and mom about furnishings tip-over and inspired them to anchor notably unstable items of furnishings. Moreover, the CPSC inspired producers to abide by voluntary furnishings stability requirements.7 To handle the inclined sleeper considerations, the CPSC has largely relied on voluntary remembers. Since 2019, the CPSC has assisted producers with not less than eight voluntary remembers of inclined sleepers.8 The CPSC stayed this course till this summer time.9
Recent CPSC Activity
On June 2, 2021, the CPSC accredited a ultimate rule establishing new necessary requirements for toddler sleep merchandise. The brand new rule requires that every one toddler sleep merchandise both fulfill an present CPSC toddler sleep commonplace or be examined to make sure an incline of lower than 10 levels and compliance with the CPSC’s Safety Customary for Bassinets and Cradles.10 The ultimate rule, passing 3-1, sparked some debate as Commissioner Baiocco argued the rule’s breadth disadvantaged dad and mom of secure co-sleeping choices.11 Nonetheless, the brand new rule is about to enter impact in June 2022.12 The CPSC additionally continues to rely on voluntary remembers. Most just lately, it introduced a recall of over three million new child loungers by the Boppy Firm after studies of eight toddler deaths from suffocation.13
The CPSC has not but taken official regulatory motion relating to furnishings stability, although in 2019 Appearing Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle informed attendees on the Annual Symposium for the Worldwide Client Merchandise Well being and Safety Group that clothes storage models (and doubtlessly tv stands and different giant furnishings) that don’t meet relevant ASTM requirements shall be topic to investigation and may current a considerable product hazard below Part 15(a) of the CPSA.14
Recent Congressional Motion
The Home handed the STURDY Act, launched by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Unwell), and the Protected Sleep for Infants Act, launched by Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA). Each payments handed via the Home Committee on Power and Commerce with out incident and had been accredited by the Home on June 23 with bipartisan assist.15 The payments had been despatched to the Senate the place they’ve been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.16
The STURDY Act would require the CPSC to make new necessary guidelines relating to “clothing storage unit[s].” A “[c]lothing storage unit” is “any free-standing furniture item […] intended for the storage of clothing, typical of bedroom furniture.” The invoice would require the CPSC to promulgate a typical requiring all such models undergo checks simulating the burden of kids as much as 60 kilos and actual world use. The CPSC’s commonplace would additionally want to incorporate a warning requirement based mostly on ASTM F2057-19.17
ASTM F2057-19 requires clothes storage models show a warning in a conspicuous place. That warning should learn, “Children have died from furniture tipover. To reduce the risk of furniture tipover: ALWAYS install tipover restraint provided[,] NEVER allow children to stand, climb, or hang on drawers, doors, or shelves[,] NEVER open more than one drawer at a time[,] [p]lace heaviest items in the lowest drawer. This is a permanent label. Do not remove!”18 Whereas the STURDY Act would require the CPSC to make a warning commonplace based mostly on ASTM F2057-19, it additionally directs the CPSC to strengthen the usual if crucial.19
The Protected Sleep for Infants Act would forbid the sale of padded crib bumpers and inclined sleepers for infants. The Act defines a “crib bumper” as any materials supposed to cowl the within of a crib to guard the occupant from impacts towards the aspect of the crib or to stop entry to gaps within the crib. The Act excludes mesh crib liners from the ban. The Act defines an “inclined sleeper for infants” as any product supposed for the sleep of infants that’s inclined higher than 10 levels.20
Each payments at the moment are within the Senate’s palms, however it’s unclear what motion the Senate will take. Final session, two related payments handed the Home solely to stall within the Senate.21 It’s potential that the brand new composition of the Senate will permit the payments to go ahead. As of now, the Senate has but to take any motion on the payments.
Subsequent Steps for Furnishings or Infant Sleeper Producers and Retailers
Because it stands, neither the Protected Sleep for Infants Act nor the STURDY Act are regulation. Regardless, although, the CPSC’s new rule on inclined sleepers is slated to enter impact in June 2022, and it has adopted via on former Appearing Chairman Buerkle’s path with strict compliance necessities for furnishings producers. Accordingly, producers and retailers ought to be certain that related merchandise adjust to the CPSC’s new requirements, specifically that they both adjust to an present toddler sleep commonplace or that they’re examined to make sure that they incline lower than 10 levels and that they meet the CPSC’s Safety Requirements for Bassinets and Cradles in addition to ASTM F2057-19 (and others) for furnishings. Producers and retailers also needs to proceed to observe the Senate for any information on the Protected Sleep for Infants Act and the STURDY Act and contemplate whether or not making adjustments to adjust to this proposed laws is advance of its passing is sensible.
1 Rachel Rabkin Peachman, House Passes Two Bills Promoting Safer Children’s Products, Client Experiences (June 23, 2021).
2 Thomas Russel, House passes two child safety initiatives, Furnishings At the moment (June 24, 2021).
3 TV and furniture tips-overs kill dozens of children every year, report shows, Household Safety & Well being (Feb. 4, 2021).
4 Rachel Rabkin Peachman, More Infant Sleep Products Linked to Deaths, a Consumer Reports Investigation Finds, Client Experiences (Oct. 21, 2019).
5 Peachman (2021), supra, fn.1.
7 Cheryl A. Falvey et al., New Proposed Legislation to Prevent Furniture Tip-Over, Crowell Moring (Mar. 4, 2021).
8 Safe Sleep – Cribs and Infant Products Information Center, Client Product Safety Fee(final visited Sept. 29, 2021).
10 Press Launch, Client Product Safety Fee, News Release: CPSC Approves Major New Federal Safety Standard for Infant Sleep Products (June 2, 2021).
12 Safety Customary for Infant Sleep Merchandise, 86 Fed. Reg. 33022 (June 23, 2021).
13 Recall Discover, Client Product Safety Fee, The Boppy Company Recalls Over 3 Million Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers After 8 Infant Deaths; Suffocation Risk (Sept. 23, 2021).
14 Appearing Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, Remarks for the 2019 Int’l Consumer Product Health and Safety Org. Ann. Symposium (Feb. 27, 2019).
15 Peachman (2021), supra, f.n1.
16 Cease Tip-overs of Unstable, Dangerous Dressers on Youth (“STURDY”) Act of 2021, H.R. 1314, 117th Cong. (2021); Protected Sleep for Infants Act of 2021, H.R. 3182, 117th Cong. (2021).
17 STURDY Act of 2021, supra, fn.12. The STURDY act directs the CPSC to promulgate warning necessities “based on ASTM F2057-17, or its successor at the time of enactment.” ASTM F2057 has since been succeeded by ASTM F2057-19.
18 Falvey, et al., supra, fn.7.
19 Protected Sleep for Infants Act of 2021, supra, fn.12.
20 Protected Sleep for Infants Act of 2021, supra, fn.12.
21 Protected Sleep for Infants Act of 2019, H.R. 3172, 116th Cong. (2019); Cease Tip-overs of Unstable, Dangerous Dressers on Youth (“STURDY”) Act of 2019, H.R. 2211, 116th Cong. (2019).
Foley and Lardner summer time affiliate Parth Patel conrtibuted to this text.