The CPSC said it knows of 122 incidents between 2005 and 2010, including four deaths and 43 injuries from toddler beds. Congress, as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, required the CPSC to issue a mandatory standard for the beds, as well as other durable infant and toddler products. Standards for cribs, infant walkers and infant bath seats have also been set.Under the new toddler bed standards, manufacturers must ensure:
- The upper edge of the guardrail is at least five inches above the bed's mattress.
- The spindle/slat strength testing is consistent with testing requirements for crib spindles and slats.
- Separate warning labels describing entrapment and strangulation hazards must be on the beds.
Cribs that convert into toddler beds must also comply with the new standards, which go into effect six months after they are published in the Federal Register.
Nancy A. Cowles, executive director of the nonprofit Kids in Danger, applauded the standards and pointed out that before 2008, there were no requirements for safety testing of children's products before they were on the market.
"One of the most common injuries in cribs are falls as children attempt to crawl out," Cowles said in an e-mail to Consumer Ally. "Having a safe product for those children to sleep in is imperative. The standard makes sure there are no places where a child can be entrapped and that the rails of the bed are sturdy enough to withstand the use of an active toddler.
"This, combined with the new mandatory crib standards, will ensure that children will sleep safely," she added, "so their parents can get some sleep, too."
For more on the improved safety of children's products, read our recent update from Consumer Ally.