The Consumer Product Safety Commission is requiring new standards to make infant swings safer, hoping to prevent future injuries and deaths.
Between May 2011 and May 2012, the CPSC received reports of 351 infant swing-related incidents (the incidents occurred between 2009 and 2012). Two of the 351 incidents resulted in deaths. The other incidents weren’t fatal but 24 did lead to in injuries.
According to the CPSC, the new federal standard, which incorporates provisions in the voluntary 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 four 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 effective date for the mandatory infant swing standard is May 7, 2013. Cradle and travel swings are also included in the standard.