The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted unanimously to approve a new set of mandatory safety standards for infant swings in which a powered mechanism drives the motion of the swing. The move was in response to more than 350 incidents involving swings reported between May of 2011 and May of 2012, two of which resulted in infant fatalities.
Among the new recommendations:
- 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 4 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 new standards take effect May 7, 2013.
Image: Infant swing, via Shutterstock