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New Cradle and Bassinet Federal Safety Standard Gets CPSC Approval

The CPSC has approved the government’s new federal safety standard for bassinets and cradles. The standards were created to prevent child injuries and deaths caused by these products. Between 11/07 and 3/13, the agency was notified of 426 bassinet/cradle incidents resulting in 132 infant fatalities.

The standard weaves in elements of the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bassinets and Cradles, which is the voluntary standard. CPSC staff, however, is recommending several modifications that the voluntary standard did not cover, including:

1. Clarifying the standard.
2. Modifying the mattress flatness test’s pass/fail requirements.
3. Exempting bassinets with less than than fifteen inches across from meeting the requirement for how flat a mattress must be.
4. Adding a requirement related to the stability of a removable bassinet.
5. Mandating the use of a newborn CAMI dummy during stability tests.

In the US, please contact our child products liability lawyers at The Gilbert Law Group if you believe your child was injured or died because of a defective crib, cradle, bassinet, or some other faulty infant sleeper. Our crib injury attorneys represent clients all over the United States.

Cradle/Bassinet Standard
According to this new standard, a cradle/bassinet is a bed for infants to sleep in. It is typically supported by a nonmoving stand/frame, free standing legs, and a base with wheels that may swing or rock. Bedside sleepers that can be turned into four-sided bassinets and separated from a bed, as well as cradle and bassinet attachments for play yards and cribs that aren’t full-sized, also fall under the cradle/bassinet category. Cradles and bassinets should only be used for kids under 5 months of age.

In 2011, Pediatrics published a study about injuries involving bassinets, playpens, and cribs in the US. The study found that from 1990 to 2008, 181,654 kids under the age of two were treated in ERs for such injuries. The most common cause of these injuries were fall accidents, which have lead to head trauma and bone fractures.

Suffocation is another kind of bassinet/cradle injury, which can be fatal. While improper bedding, including adult-sized pillows, blankets, and soft bedding, and allowing the infant to sleep on his/her stomach are among the leading causes, bassinet failure may also increase the chances of a child suffocating to death. This can happen if a mechanical issue causes the infant bed to shift a sleeping infant into a position that might make it hard to breathe properly.

Our bassinet injury attorneys represent families with product defect claims against crib makers, sellers, and distributors. Your first case assessment is free.

In 2009,Consumer Reports issued recommendations on what to consider when buying a cradle or a bassinet, including:

• Buy only new and ASTM certified bassinets/cribs that meet today’s safety standards.

• Don’t leave an infant in a crib that is rocking without supervision.

• If the bassinet has wheels and they are unlocked, don’t leave it by any stairs.

• Only use the manufacturer’s mattress that comes with the crib and make sure the sheet perfectly fits the mattress’s dimensions.

• Don’t place additional bedding, extra padding, blankets, or stuffed animals inside the bassinet/crib.

• Keep the bassinet/cradle away from curtain cords, window blind cords, or electrical cords.

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