The CPSC issued a Final Rule for Carriages and Strollers on March 10, 2014, which will become effective on September 10, 2015. On May 20, 2013 the CPSC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for carriages and strollers which proposed to incorporate by reference the voluntary standard, ASTM F833-13, “Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Carriages and Strollers”, with certain changes to strengthen the voluntary ASTM standard.
The Final Rule incorporates by reference most of the recent voluntary standard, ASTM F833-13b, with a modification to address head entrapment hazards associated with multi-positional adjustable grab bars. In the NPR, the CPSC proposed a performance requirement and test method to address scissoring, shearing and pinching hazards associated with 2D fold strollers, which were already required for 3D fold strollers. For the testing of a 2D fold stroller and convertible carriage/strollers, the CPSC proposed a test within an access zone based on the incident data and the anthropocentric dimensions of the child occupant. The CPSC also proposed a test method to test the frame folding action of a stroller while the stroller is moved from the completely folded to the completely erect position and from the partially folded position to the fully erect and locked position (travel distance calculation).
The definition of a “2D fold stroller” that is found within ASTM F833-13b is a stroller that folds the handlebars and leg tubes only in front-to-back (or back-to-front) direction. To address the 2D fold stroller hazards, ASTM F833-13b requires the frame folding action of a 2D fold stroller and convertible carriage/stroller to be designed and constructed to prevent injury from scissoring, shearing, or pinching. Units with a removable seat that prevents the complete folding of the unit while still attached are exempt from this requirement.
The CPSC is requiring an additional modification to the passive containment/foot opening test method in ASTM F833-13b, to address head entrapment hazards associated with multi-positional adjustable grab bars. Specifically, the test method for passive containment/foot opening is revised as follows:
(a) 7.12.1 Secure the front wheels of the unit in their normal standing position so that the unit cannot move forward. Attach the tray(s) or grab bar(s) in the position that creates the bounded opening(s). Position any adjustable features (that is, grab bar, calf supports, foot rests, etc.) that may affect the bounded opening(s) to create an opening(s) size that is most likely to cause failure; and
(b) 7.12.3 If necessary, reattach/re-position tray(s) grab bar(s), then perform the torso probe test per 7.12.4. Position any adjustable features (that is, grab bar, calf supports, foot rests, etc.) that may affect the bounded opening(s), to create the opening(s) size that is most likely to cause failure.
The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) generally requires that the effective date of the rule be at least 30 days after publication of the final rule [ 5 U.S.C. 553(d)]. The safety standard for carriages and strollers will become effective 18 months after publication of a final rule in the Federal Register.