With dozens of children injured as a result of falls or other mishaps associated with frame child carriers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued new safety standards for these popular products.
These are carriers made mostly of fabric as well as tubular metal, and they are designed much like a backpack. They are designed primarily for children who weigh between 16 and 50 pounds and can at least sit upright on their own. The child faces either front or back, and the frame is worn on the caregiver's back, often for use in outdoor activities like hiking. Generally, they cost anywhere from $100 to $300. The 16 identified manufacturers that produce these carriers either focus their efforts on child nursery products or camping and hiking gear.
The new safety standards, which were approved in February, don't go into effect until August 2016. The updates address a number of injury-causing issues identified with these child products, including:
- Exposed coil springs
- Small parts
- Lead paint
- Structural integrity and stability
- Leg openings (preventing smaller children from falling through a single leg opening)
- Weight limits (ensuring product can hold three times the listed weight limit)
- Proper restraints
- Unintentional folding
- Sharp points