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Feds consider new rules for children's folding chairs

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is moving forward with new rules for children’s folding chairs and stools after reports of dozens of injuries from chairs falling over.

Manufacturers will also be required to place labels on the product seats and build chairs and stools in such a way that they can’t tip over backward or sideways when tested.

The commission said it received reports of 98 injuries, 45 non-injury accidents and another 39 recall-related complaints associated with children’s folding chairs and stools from Jan. 1, 2003 through Dec. 14, 2014.

Those injured most commonly pinched a finger or other body part when folding or unfolding the chair or stool. Some kids were hurt when the chair or stool unexpectedly collapsed. In two cases, the child was hurt when their head smacked against the floor when they fell.

The proposed rules are based on the American Society for Testing and Materials’ voluntary development standards and will force manufacturers to make warning labels easier to read and include specific language like “Warning” and “Amputation Hazard.”

The rule would take effect six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register. Though the commission said it believes six months is enough time for companies to have their products tested by a third-party for stability, it is looking for the industry to comment on how the rule will impact small manufacturers and importers.