Girardi | Keese

New regulations issued by CPSC for baby bassinets after deaths

Losing a loved one because of dangerous or unsafe products is never an easy thing to handle. This is especially true if that loved one is your own child whose life had barely just begun. This was the main thought of the Consumer Product Safety Commission when they began receiving incident reports involving baby bassinets and cradles. Tragically, 132 of these reports, between November 2007 and March 2013, ended fatally, which prompted the agency to take a call to action on the problem.

According to the CPSC, current safety tests for bassinets and cradles are conducted using infant-size dummies, which many say do not accurately represent all of the sizes of children that could be placed in these beds. In bassinets and cradles that contain segmented mattresses, newborn infants are on occasion getting trapped between the mattress sections, causing them to suffocate and die. In collaboration with several groups including juvenile product manufacturers and consumer groups, the CPSC has formed a new rule that they feel will better protect children from suffocation deaths because of segmented mattresses.

The new standards established by the CPSC would change the pass/fail criteria for mattress flatness in such beds and require that manufacturers use newborn-size dummies when doing safety tests. As we're sure many of our readers are thinking, these new safety regulations would be a welcome relief to many parents the nation over who may not even know that there is a danger.

While we'd like to think that manufacturers of children's products are telling us everything, including every possible danger, this suggestion from the CPSC about infant bassinets and cradles just goes to show that not all products have been tested thoroughly enough before coming out on the market. As our readers know, this can create tragedies for consumers and liability issues for manufacturers who may have their eyes set on profits rather than safety in the end.

Source: Courthouse News, "Deaths Prompt Standards for Bassinets," Philip A. Janquart, Oct. 28, 2013

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