Baby carriers manufactured and imported in the United States are subjected to mandatory safety standards, substance restrictions, labeling, certification, and lab testing requirements.
In this guide, we cover CPSIA, ASTM standards, and other compliance requirements applicable to several types of baby carriers, such as soft infant carriers, frame child carriers, and sling carriers.
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The CPSIA regulates children’s products manufactured or imported in the United States, by setting requirements to ensure the safety of these products.
The CPSIA also incorporates by reference specific ASTM standards for soft infant carriers, frame child carriers, and sling carriers, making compliance with these standards compulsory for relevant products.
Here is a summary of the CPSIA requirements that we cover in this guide:
- ASTM F2236
- ASTM F2549
- ASTM F2907
- Children’s Product Certificate (CPC)
- Consumer Registration Card
- Test Report
- CPSIA Tracking Label
ASTM F2236: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers
According to the CPSIA, a “soft infant and toddler carrier” is a product normally manufactured with sewn fabric. It should support an infant or toddler in an upright position while worn by the carer.
16 CFR Part 1226, a safety standard under the CPSIA, incorporates by reference ASTM F2236 – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Soft Infant and Toddler Carriers.
ASTM F2236 sets requirements meant to reduce the chances of an infant suffering an injury during the intended use, or foreseeable misuse, of the product. It assumes that the product is used in the following conditions:
a. The child should weigh between 7 and 45 pounds (3.2 and 22 kilograms)
b. The caregiver should wear the carrier with the child positioned in it
c. The weight of the child and carrier should be suspended from one or both of the caregiver’s shoulders
d. The caregiver may wear the carrier on the front, side, or back of their body
e. The infant may face either toward or away from the caregiver while being carried
The standard sets requirements concerning the following aspects:
- Test methods
ASTM F2549: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Frame Child Carriers
The CPSIA defines a “frame child carrier” as a sewn fabric product that should be on a tubular frame made of metal or other materials. Its design should enable the caregiver to carry a child in an upright position.
16 CFR Part 1230, a safety standard under the CPSIA, incorporates by reference ASTM F2549 – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Frame Child Carriers.
ASTM F2549 sets guidelines to reduce the chances of a child injuring themselves during the intended use, or foreseeably misuse, of the product. The intended use includes the following conditions:
a. The child should be able to sit upright unassisted and weigh between 16 and 50 pounds (7.3 and 22.7 kilograms)
b. The caregiver should wear the carrier on the back of the body
c. The carrier (and consequently, the child) should be suspended from both the caregiver’s shoulders
d. The seated child should face either toward or away from the caregiver
The standard covers the following:
- Performance requirements
- Test methods
- Marking requirements
ASTM F2549 requires frame child carriers to bear applicable warnings, as well as include legible and understandable user instructions for the following:
The standard sets test methods for different properties, including:
- Leg opening test
- Dynamic strength test
- Static load test
- Stability load test
- Locking divide test
- Unintentional folding test
- Torque test
- Tension test
ASTM F2907: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Sling Carriers
The CPSIA defines a sling carrier as a fabric or sewn fabric product designed to hold a maximum of two children in an upright or reclined position, supported by the caregiver’s torso.
16 CFR Part 1228, a safety standard under the CPSIA, incorporates by reference ASTM F2907 – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Sling Carriers.
ASTM F2907 covers various types of sling carriers, such as the following:
- Hammock-like sling
- Long, wrappable sling
The standard sets requirements to reduce the likelihood of injury during the sling carrier’s regular use or foreseeable misuse, which include the following conditions:
a. The sling should weigh between 16 lb and 50 lb (7.3 kg and 22.7 kg), unless the manufacturer indicates a higher weight limit
b. The caregiver should “wear” the sling carrier, thereby supporting the child from either one or both of the caregiver’s shoulders
c. The caregiver should wear the sling carrier either on the front, hip, or back
d. The child should face either toward or away from the caregiver
e. If the caregiver carries the child in the front, the child should recline in the sling carrier
ASTM F2907 sets specifications to improve the safety of sling carriers by establishing:
- Performance requirements
- Test methods
- Marking and labeling requirements
The standard indicates methods for testing sling carriers, such as the following:
- Static load test
- Dynamic load test
- Adhesion test
- Occupant retention test
- Restraint system
Below we list the main documents required by the CPSIA for baby carriers manufactured or imported into the US.
Children’s Product Certificate (CPC)
Importers and manufacturers of products intended to be used by children, including baby carriers, must issue a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC). The certificate is evidence that the product complies with the CPSIA’s requirements.
A CPC should include the following information:
a. Product’s identity
b. Importers or manufacturer’s information (i.e., Company name and address in the US, e-mail, phone)
c. Contact information of the person with access to the test report (name, address, e-mail, phone)
d. Date and location of manufacture
e. Test date (month, year)
f. Applicable ASTM and CPSC standards (i.e., ASTM F2236)
g. CPSC accepted third-party lab testing company information
Consumer Registration Card
Durable infant and toddler products, including carriers, are meant for use by children below five years of age.
The CPSC requires manufacturers to attach a product registration card to durable infant and toddler products. This requirement is meant improve the efficacy of possible product recalls. The card should have information such as the following on it:
- Manufacturer’s name and contact information
- Model name and number (or other identifiers)
- Date of manufacture
The card should also have space for the consumer to provide the following information:
- Phone number
- Email address
It should also include an option for consumers to register the product via email or the internet.
Baby carriers must be tested against applicable requirements before being imported or sold in the United States. Note that these tests must be conducted by a CPSC-accepted lab.
Once your product passes the tests, you receive a test report that proves compliance with the applicable requirements, which might include:
- Substance restrictions
- Mechanical properties
- Flammability properties
CPSIA Tracking Label
Products intended for children below the age of 12 are required to bear a CPSIA tracking label, which contains traceability information that enables the fast and accurate tracking of products.
A CPSIA tracking label should include the following information:
- Name of manufacturer or private labeler
- Manufacturer’s contact details
- Location and date of manufacture
- Batch or run number
- Model name and number
Amazon requires that children’s products listed on its platform must comply with applicable federal and state regulations. Further, Amazon has published specific pages to baby carriers, where it lists particular requirements for the products:
a. Soft infant and toddler carriers (ASTM F2236 and CPSIA lead and phthalates requirements) – Learn more
b. Frame child carriers (ASTM F2549 and CPSIA lead and phthalates requirements) – Learn more
c. Sling carriers (ASTM F2907 and CPSIA lead and phthalates requirements) – Learn more
When listing either of these products, sellers might also need to submit the following information:
a. Seller’s company name (if any) and seller ID
b. Seller’s contact information: email address and phone number
c. Listed product identity
d. Images of the product and packaging
e. Photographs of the registration card, tracking label, and warning (if any)
f. Product instructions and/or manuals
g. A Children’s Product Certificate (CPC)
h. Test reports issued by a CPSC-accepted lab
Note that Amazon reserves the right to remove or suspend the product listing if sellers do not submit the requested information.
Third-party lab testing is generally mandatory when importing or manufacturing products covered by the CPSIA, including baby carriers. Further, only test reports issued by CPSC-accepted labs are valid.
Baby carrier lab testing might cover requirements such as the following:
- Substances testing (e.g. phthalates)
- Heavy metals testing (e.g. lead)
- Physical and mechanical properties (e.g. small parts)
After testing the baby carriers, importers or manufacturers receive a test report that proves the carrier’s compliance with the CPSIA and standards, such as the following:
- ASTM F2236
- ASTM F2549
- ASTM F2907
CPSC Accepted Lab Testing Companies
Several CPSC-accepted lab testing companies offer testing services for baby carriers. We list a few companies below.
California Proposition 65
California Proposition 65 restricts chemicals and substances that cause birth defects, cancer, or other reproductive harm.
The California Proposition 65 list includes chemicals that might be relevant to baby carriers, such as the following:
- Phthalates (e.g., DIDP, DEHP, DBP)
- Azo dyes
It requires companies to provide a warning label on their products if they believe that those products expose consumers to chemicals on the list. Companies don’t need to provide the warning if they can prove – for example via applicable testing – that:
a. Their products do not contain any listed substances, or
b. The substances’ exposure remains below accepted levels
Country of Origin Marking
The Country of Origin marking informs consumers where the product was made. For instance, if a product sold in the US was manufactured in China, the product should bear the “Made in China” marking.
The marking applies to most products imported into the United States, including baby carriers.
The marking should:
- Be readable and understandable
- Indicate in English the origin of the product
- Be permanent
Baby carriers manufactured outside the United States are not designed to comply with relevant ASTM standards in mind. Further, materials used to make baby carriers can also contain excessive amounts of restricted substances – such as lead and phthalates.
Some baby carriers may also be unsafe from a design and construction perspective.
Manufacturers or importers must therefore take a hands-on approach when importing baby carriers from China, Vietnam, or elsewhere. As said, lab testing is mandatory, but you must also provide a ready-made tracking label to your supplier to ensure that the product is correctly labeled.