New rules would protect babies from falling out of carriers

Babies would be better protected while their parents are holding them in carriers designed for infants and toddlers under new safety standards from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

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The CPSC announced Thursday it is moving forward with new rules for soft infant and toddler carriers to reduce the risk of babies being injured or killed by these devices. [READ THE RULES.]

"Typically, children are carried in soft infant and toddler carriers on the front of a caregiver," so that the babies are facing their parents, like the opposite of backpack, the agency wrote in the Federal Register.

But in some cases, these infant and toddler carriers have malfunctioned and caused injuries or even killed some of the babies, the CPSC reported.

In fact, from September 2012 through July 2013, 31 incidents were reported to the CPSC, including two deaths from suffocation. In 24 of the cases, the children were injured but not killed.

Often times, the injuries occurred when parents fell down or bent over to grab something and the baby fell out of the carrier.

"The primary hazard associated with the use of a soft infant and toddler carriers continues to be falling, either caregivers falling while wearing the carrier and injuring the child in the carrier, or children falling or facing the risk of falling from the carrier," the agency wrote.

The new standards go into effect on Sept. 29, and will apply to all baby carriers that are manufactured in or imported to the U.S.

The rules come from the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, which gave the CPSC the authority to establish new standards to protect children.

These rules would go above and beyond existing voluntary standards from manufacturers.

"Durable infant and toddler standards must be 'substantially the same as' applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standard if the commission concludes that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product," the agency wrote.