Accidents and Fatalities Prompt New Regulations

To prevent infant death and injury, in October 2013 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a new standard to improve the safety of bassinets and cradles. The voluntary standard for bassinets and cradles was first approved in 2002, as ASTM 2194, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bassinets and Cradles, and has been revised a number of times since then.

In 2012 the voluntary standard requirements included:

  • No lead paint.
  • No wood screws.
  • No sharp points and sharp edges.
  • Exposed wood parts must be smooth and free of splinters.
  • Product must not present scissoring, shearing, or pinching hazards.
  • Labels and warnings must be permanently affixed to the product.
  • Spacing of rigid sided and mesh/fabric sided bassinet/cradle components must be a certain distance, to prevent entrapment.
  • Performance requirements must include methods for testing of static load and stability.
  • Sleeping pad must be of a certain thickness and dimensions.
  • Side of the bassinet/cradle must be of a certain height.
  • Product must be clearly marked and labeled, with clearly written enclosed assembly and use instructions.

2013 Additions to Requirements

CPSC received notice of 426 incidents involving bassinets and cradles, including 132 fatalities occurring from November 2007 through March 2013, prompting the agency to raise standards even further in 2013 to include the following:

  • Clarification of the scope of the 2012 standard
  • Change to a pass/fail criterion for the mattress flatness test for mattresses 15 inches or more across
  • Removable bassinet bed stability requirement
  • Use of a newborn CAMI dummy rather than an infant CAMI dummy in the stability testing procedure

CPSC advises parents that a bassinet or cradle is not intended to be used beyond the age of about five months or when a child is able to push up on his or her hands and knees.