Briefing Matter: Framed Child Carriers Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

>>Robert Adler: Good morning everyone
and welcome to a truly rainy day. I’m reminded of that WC Fields movie where
he kept saying aint a fit night out for man or beast and it feels like it this morning. This morning CPSC staff will brief the
commission regarding a draft notice of proposed rulemaking for framed child carries. This draft notice arises under section 104 of
the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, also known as the Danny Keysar Child Product
Safety Notification Act, or to me Danny’s Law. The act honors Danny as a child who died in
an infant product that had been the subject of two recalls but somehow the
product still remained on the market. Danny’s name reminds us how precious
human life is and how dedicated we must be to safeguard it to the greatest extent possible. Section 104 requires the CPSC to promulgate
rules for durable infant or toddler products and specifically refers to
infant carriers as one of the products for which a rule is required. And one of the important elements of section 104
rules is their reliance on voluntary standards as a foundation for these safety rules. In this case, the voluntary standard
is an ASTM standard F2549-14, which is titled Standard Consumer Safety
Specification for frame child carriers and the definition is a product normally of
sewn fabric construction on a tubular metal, or other frame which is designed
to carry a child in an upright position on
the back of a caregiver. That helps explain the product to an extent
but if like me you still find yourself baffled about the difference between a hand
held carrier, a toddler carrier, and a frame child carrier, fortunately
staff is going to explain that. In passing, I did note that
the briefing package mentions that this product closely resembles hiking and
mountaineering backpacks but then hastens to add that the backpacks are not intended
to be used for transporting a child. As I understand we have information about
forty seven incidents over the past ten years with most injuries resulting from
falls from the framed child carrier. Again staff is going to walk us through the
injury data to help us understand the degree of danger associated with this product. We’ll now hear from staff on the
frame child carrier draft NPR both as to the AST voluntary standard
and as to the modification to the standard that the staff proposes. The staff who will brief us are Patricia
Edwards from EXHR and Dave DiMatteo from the General Councils Office so I turn
it over to you and good morning to you.>>Dave DiMatteo: Good morning Chairman
Adler, Commissioner’s Buerkle and Robinson. I’m Dave DiMatteo of the Office of the
General Council and with me is Patty Edwards from the Director of Engineering
Sciences as you noted and this morning we will be doing a briefing on
the safety standard for framed child carriers and I will start off an overview of the law. Section 104B of the CPSI the Consumer Product
Safety Improvement Act is what that stands for basically requires the commission to
issue consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products
and there’s a consultation requirement that requires us to consult with the appropriate
stake holders before we promulgate rules or to follow the section 553 informal rule
making process that’s laid out in the APA. And when we do these standards, the standards
are supposed to be substantially the same as the volunteer standard, or more
stringent if the commission determines that more stringent standards
would further reduce the risk of injury associated with such products. And a durable infant or toddler product is
defined as a durable product intended for use or that may be reasonably expected to be
used by children under the age of five years and infant carriers as the
chairman has identified in the statutes of the durable infant product. And today the draft proposed rule
is proposing to incorporate for you, it’s proposing to incorporate by reference
voluntary standard ASTMF2529-14 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for framed
child carriers with one modification to strengthen the standard and with
that I’ll turn it over to Patty to discuss the details of the proposed rule.>>Patty Edwards: Thank you Dave. Good morning Chairman Adler,
Commissioners Buerkle and Robinson. On the current slide we can see
examples of two frame carriers in use and we have a few other carriers
here today in front of you that will be used for demonstration purposes. The ASTM standard F2549 defines
the product as follows: A framed child carrier is a product normally
of sewn fabric construction on a tubular metal or other frame which is designed
to carry a child in an upright position on
the back of a caregiver. These products are designed to carry children
who are old enough to sit upright unassisted and who weigh between 16 and 50 pounds. As seen in the photos, the carrier is designed
to be worn on the caregivers back and suspended from both shoulders much like a backpack. As the commission knows there are other
ASTM standards that cover related products but they are not the subject of the
standard we are discussing today. Two such examples are shown
on the slide in front of you. I would like to review the incident
data associated with frame carriers. It is fortunate that the agency has not
had any reported fatalities associated with this product in the search time period. Of the forty seven reported
incidents, thirty three resulted in injuries mostly due to
falls from the product. To summarize the incident data, of
the forty seven incidents twenty nine of them are considered to be product related. There are four hazard patterns associated with these twenty nine incidents
as seen on the slide. The other eighteen incidents were equally
divided as being non-product related, or it is unknown as to whether
or not they are product related. Let’s now look at each of the four hazard
patterns in a little bit more detail. There are eleven incidents
related to structural integrity. These incidents involve component
failures, detachment of components, stitching problems and things like that. When looking at the details of these eleven
incidents, staff was able to determine that they all involved carriers that
were made before the first publication of the ASTM standard in late 2006. Stability is the second hazard pattern and these
incidents pertain to carriers containing a child that were not being worn by the
caregiver at the time of the incident. For example, a care giver removes the
occupied carrier from his or her back and places it upright on a table, such
as the one we’ve got demonstrated here and using the kickstand feature and then
the carrier and the child both tip over. Because these incidents were all from
nice data, it is not known whether any of the carriers involved
were actually manufactured after the ASTM standard was first published. Leg openings is another hazard
pattern that resulted in injuries. The scenario involves a child who is able
to put both legs into one leg opening and either falls completely out of the carrier
or gets trapped in the process of sliding out. Of the seven known incidents, three are
known to involve carriers that were made after the ASTM standard was first published. Last but not least are the incidents involving
restraints: We only have two reported incidents and both involve caregivers who we relearning
over and the occupants came out through the top, thus somehow defeating their
shoulder restraints. Unfortunately, there was not enough
information to determine whether or not there were really any issues
involving the restraints themselves. Non-product related includes incidents dealing
with the caregiver’s actions of putting a child into the carrier or removing them from
the carrier, which resulted in an injury. It also includes incidents where the caregiver
slipped or tripped while wearing the carrier. And as mentioned earlier there were also
nine incidents, all which were from nice data where staff could not determine whether
or not they were product related. There have been two compliance recalls
since 2003 for framed carriers. One involved the retention system, specifically
the shoulder straps were loosening on their own and the other involved missing
fasteners for the frame. These next several slides will discuss the
ASTM Voluntary Standard for frame carriers. We’ll start with the history and then look
at the current standard and it’s adequacy as it pertains to the hazard
patterns we’ve seen in the data. As I already mentioned the first
standard was first published in late 2006 with the designation F2549-06. It contains the general requirements listed
on the slide which are also requirements found in most of the other ASTM juvenile standards. The performance requirements in the standard
covered hazards associated with leg openings, the product stability, the retention
system and the integrity of the handle. In addition, it has dynamic strength
and static load requirements. These address the hazards
associated with structural integrity. And as with other juvenile standards, ASTMF
25-49 also contains requirements for the marking and labeling of the product and
for the instructional literature that accompanies the product. ASTMF2549 has been revised five times
since its initial publication in 2006. The first revision contain new requirements,
one for flammability and the other for toys but since that time no new requirements
have been added to the standard. Most of the changes in the subsequent
versions dealt with revisions to existing requirements, or
they were editorial changes. A change to the scope of the
standard was made in 2013. This change increased the intended upper weight
range of the product from forty to fifty pounds to reflect what is currently
being sold on the market. In the current version of the standard, the
current version of the standard was improved in January of this year and
is designated at F2549-14. Let’s now consider the adequacy of
the current version of the standard. As reviewed earlier, there were
several leg opening incidents, three of which involve carriers
that were manufactured after the ASTM standard was first published. This photo on the slide shows a CAMI
dummy acting as a child surrogate and demonstrates what can happen
when a leg opening is large enough to allow a child to slide through it. The ASTM standard has always had a leg
opening requirement designed specifically to address this hazard and yet
we had incidents with carriers that met the requirement as
it was originally written. In earlier versions of the standard,
the leg opening test was different than it is in the current version. To conduct the leg opening test a test sphere, as seen here on the table
in front of me, is used. This test sphere is modeled from the hip
circumference of the smallest child likely to use these carriers, which
is about a six month hold. But before actually conducting the
test, the carrier must be adjusted. The earlier versions of the standard
require that the carrier be adjust to fit the smallest user, that’s
the wording from the standard. There was no guidance given on
how to make these adjustments. Thus for some carriers that have a lot of
straps that simply meant tightening the straps down pretty much as far as they could go. After adjusting the carrier then the
test sphere is placed inside the carrier and in where the occupant area is and the
whole carrier is then tilted to its side. If the sphere falls through the leg
opening, then it fails the test. When staff tested a variety of carriers to the old leg opening requirements
I just described they all passed, even the carrier model involved
in the incidents thus staff worked with the ASTM sub-committee group and developed
a new test procedure that was more stringent. The test procedure was adopted in
the 2013 version of the standard and thus it is also in the current version. In the new test procedure the pre-tested
adjustment is done differently. The carriers are now adjusted
around a CAMI infant dummy and as you know CAMI’s size is based
off of an average six month old child. After the adjustments is made then
the test sphere is again placed inside and the carrier is tilted just like before. Testing performed by staff is
demonstrated in this slide. Note that the second photo
shows the test sphere’s falling out of the leg opening during the revised test, therefore this frame carrier fails the
revised leg opening test requirement. At this time I’d like to ask Kevin Lee to
come up and demonstrate the leg opening test on two carriers-one that passes
the requirement and one that fails.>>Kevin: As Patty said I will be demonstrating
the leg opening test for two frame carriers, both of them have been already
adjusted to fit a six month CAMI. Though I’m doing it down here because
the ball is going to fall out. So I slowly rotate it for over five
seconds and hold it for a minute. As you can see I’m not going to do it for a whole minute cause that’s
going to take up too much time. Now I’ll perform it with one that fails. I’m going to slowly rotate for five seconds
and then hold if I can but it already fell out. And then I can do it for the other side too. Alright so that’s it.>>Patty: Thank you Kevin. So due to the recent changes in the leg
opening test procedure that are now part of the current standard, staff believes
this hazard pattern is now being adequately addressed. I’d like now to talk a bit
about ASTM juvenile standards because this next topic can get
confusing if you’re not familiar with the format of the standards. The meat of an ASMT juvenile
standard is typically found in the requirements and test procedure sections. There are many types of requirements:
There are marking, labeling, instructional literature requirements, those
are typically found in sections eight and nine of ASTM juvenile standards and there are general
requirements, typically found in section five. General requirements are often just cut
and pasted from one standard to the next because they apply to most
of the juveniles products. And then there are the performance
requirements which are found in section six. Performance requirements are particular for
the specific product covered by the standard. When you read the verbiage
contained in the requirement, whether it is labeling general performance
requirement, you are reading the criteria for what determines a pass or fail
for that particular requirement. For instance, consider the leg
opening requirement that I have up on the slide and one that we just discussed. In the standard the requirement is found in 6.1 and it basically states leg openings shall not
permit the passage of a leg opening test sphere when tested in accordance with 7.1,
thus the pass fail criteria is simply that the sphere can’t pass through the
leg openings during the test and note that section 6.1 doesn’t provide any details about the test besides telling you
where to find it in section 7.1. It is important to note that every test
procedures, all of those that are outlined in section 7 of the standards must
have a corresponding requirement. It could be a general requirement
or a performance requirement but all of the test procedures
need to be related to a requirement since a requirement is what tells a
tester what constitutes a pass or a fail. Because without a corresponding requirement
a test procedure is like taking a test that never gets graded or evaluated. I would now like to discuss a
particular requirement in the standards, section 6.5 that deals with the restraint
systems on the frame carriers and I would like to discuss its corresponding test
procedure which can be found in 7.5. The current slide paraphrases
what is in both of these sections. Section 6.5, as written, requires that
carriers are designed with a restraint system that is attached to the product before
a consumer actually purchases it. This means that a consumer does
not have to assemble, install, or attach a restraint system themselves. It also dictates that all carriers that use a
waist and crotch restraint system must design that system so that the crotch strap has to
be used when the waist belt is being used. Section 7.5 outlines three different tests
that relate to the retention restraint system. In the first test, a specified
force is applied to one of the restraints wherever it
attaches to the carrier body. In the second test the CAMI dummy is
placed in the carrier and fully restrained and then a specified force is applied
to one of her legs several times. In the third test, the carrier, with CAMI still
restrained inside is rotated in a big circle, 360 degrees from front over
back and side over side. The photo on this slide shows 360 degree front
over back rotation tests at the beginning when CAMI is upright in the carrier and again
half way through when CAMI is upside down. I’m going to invite Kevin Lee back up
again to demonstrate this rotational test.>>Kevin: This frame carrier also
has been fitted to the 6 month CAMI and I shall perform the retention test. You hold it, hold it for one second,
rotate it 90 degrees backwards, another second back again, again, then again. Rotate it on anther axis and that’s it.>>Please do not try this at home; these are
experienced professionals doing this test.>>Patty: Or with your own child. Now remember section 6.5 the requirement
that we just reviewed for the tension system, its back up on the slide, notice
how there was no mention in 6.5 of what constitutes a pass fail in doing
the tests that are outlined in 7.5. Well, staff noticed this
omission in the standard when we were putting together the
briefing package and immediately brought it to the attention of the ASTM
subcommittee chairman. In addition, we consulted with
independent test laboratories in an effort to develop a performance requirement that
relates to the testing outline in 7.5. We developed a new sub section 6.5.4 and it
says: when tested in accordance with 7.5, he restraint system and its closing means,
for example buckle shall not break, disengage, or separate at any seam and all of the
fasteners shall not release or suffer damage that impairs the operation and
function of the restraint system. At the end of the test, the CAMI dummy shall not
be released fully or fall out of the carrier. The wording was developed by
reviewing several other standards that have similar requirements
for their retention systems. The wording showed on the slide was reviewed
at the last ASTM meeting held three weeks ago and a subcommittee agreed at that time
to send it out to ballot to be considered for the next revision of the standard. But because it is not in the standard as of
yet, staff is recommending this word be added as a modification to F2549-14
for the proposed rule. The next couple of slides
reviews the small business impact. Currently staff is aware of fifteen firms that
supply frame child carriers to the US market. Of them nine are considered
small domestic firms. Of the nine five of them are likely to
comply with the current ASTM standard, two of which are manufactures
and three that are importers. There is little or no economic
impact expected for the firms who now comply with the ASTM standard. Of the four firms who do not comply, or
who were not aware of the ASTM standard, a significant economic impact
cannot be ruled out. And lastly we come to staff’s recommendation. Staff is recommending that the commission
publish an NPR that incorporates by reference the voluntary standard ASTM
F2549-14 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Frame Child Carriers with a modification
that would add a pass fail criteria for the retention system
performance requirement. Staff also is recommending an effective date of 180 days following the
publication of the final rule. Thank you for your attention to this matter
and before I turn it over to questions I’d like to personally thank our
team who worked on this with me. Our technical lead as you met is Kevin Lee. Our economic expert is Dr. Jill Jenkins. Our epidemiologist is Rosona
Chowdery [assumed spelling], our human factors expert is Dr.
Ronna Baslisana [assumed spelling]. Our health scientist is Stephanie Marquis and our compliance representative
is Julio Overdio [assumed spelling]. Lastly, my legal counsel working alongside
of me this whole way is Dave DiMatteo. A big thank you to all of
them for a job well done. Thank you.>>Robert Adler: And we join in that big thank
you to all of the staff and thank you for going through and particularly naming the staff. We’re going to have questions and as I understand the rule it’s
a ten minute round for each person. If you have additional questions we’ll do
additional ten minute rounds and I want to thank you so much for the presentation Patty
as usual it’s terrific and I just want to nail down one point that I think I understood
but let me see if I can repeat it. With respect to 2549-14 we are
not actually adding a new test, we’re simply saying once you do the test, here’s how you interpret it,
here are the pass fail criteria. Am I correct?>>Patty: Correct, we’re not changing
anything about the test itself.>>Robert Adler: So that there’s no anybody
who is complying with a 2013 version of it was running the test that they could
stand back and see see we just ran the test and the CAMI fell out isn’t that interesting. But now when the CAMI falls
out they say oops we flunk.>>Patty: Right, correct.>>Robert Adler: Thank you. And I did want to ask one additional
question just to pin down this thought, you did explain it to me but I wanted at least
to have you explain it to the group at large. When I look at the test criteria they
say this is the new test criteria, this is similar to the European standard and I
wanted to know why you used the phrasing similar to the child restraint system in the European
standard as opposed to saying identical to because we’re always trying to harmonize
standards so if you could explain why you chose that language I think that would help.>>Patty: The testing outlined in the
EM standard is somewhat different. It’s conceptually the same, they do the
same sort of test but it’s not word for word and they might have different procedures and
different ways that they actually evaluate but they’re looking at the same
thing, they’re doing a rotational test to make sure CAMI doesn’t fall out. They’re doing tug testing and everything so
we couldn’t use their exact pass fail criteria because it wouldn’t match what was already
the test procedure for the ASTM standard.>>Robert Adler: And one of
the points you made to me when you were discussing is they
use a metric system and we don’t.>>Patty: Well yeah they use it primarily
and then they back it up with the English. We use the English primarily and we back it up
with a metric so that does make a difference.>>Robert Adler: But if I do understand
correctly anybody running the test according to the ASTM standard would
likely pass the European standard and anybody running the European standard that passes would likely pass ours,
or the flunks would be the same.>>Patty: Correct that’s why we
consider them substantially similar.>>Robert Adler: Well, that’s very gratifying. I would like to ask Jill about a question
on economic analysis if that’s okay. And this is just fact finding, this is not
in any way a criticism of what we’ve done but I did notice that there’s something cited as
the one percent of gross revenue threshold test and it says we typically do
that but I racked my memory and I can’t remember ever seeing
that in a briefing package.>>Jill: We’ve always been using that to evaluate whether
something was significant or not. We added it for this particular
draft at the request of OGC.>>Robert Adler: Okay so that we’d been using it but not necessarily stating
explicitly in briefing packages.>>Jill: That’s correct.>>Robert Adler: Okay and I guess my
question is one percent of what is the test?>>Jill: Revenue.>>Robert Adler: Revenue okay and is in
other words revenue with respect to what? Are we saying one percent of revenue
moving to the 2014 version of ASTM, moving to the 2013 version of ASTM with
respect to what I guess is one percent of gross revenue with respect to what?>>Jill: Basically what we expect the impact
on the firm to be relative to their revenue.>>Robert Adler: Okay so that somebody who
was complying with ASTM 2014 version is going to have added costs that exceed one percent
of gross revenue because of that or is it because I guess my question is are they going
to actually have additional manufacturing costs, or is the main added cost the
testing and certification?>>Jill: We don’t expect that there would
be any costs for firms that are compliant with the ASTM standard to come into compliance with what we are proposing; the
costs would be just testing.>>Robert Adler: Okay I think
that helps me understand it. Cause when I was reading I just said one
percent of what I understand one percent of gross revenue but one percent
of gross revenue compared to what? And so I think you’ve explained
it and I appreciate that. Commissioner Robinson questions?>>Marietta Robinson: Thank you Mr. Chair. As an avid outdoors person I see these backpack
carriers as we call them all of the time and I’m absolutely delighted that we are passing
a mandatory standard to make these safer both for the children and the
parents and grandparents usually who are carrying them on their backs. I wonder Ms. Edwards yesterday you demonstrated
it for me but perhaps you’d like Mr. Lee to demonstrate the stability of the carriers
when you put them down because I know some of the incidents happened from the carrier
being put down and the child falling out.>>Patty: Oh Kevin if you want to come
on up and grab the carrier with CAMI in it and you can put it on the table. They have most of these have an automatic kick
stand feature, which helps keep them stable on nice flat surfaces and so forth and there is
a stability requirement in the standard already that actually puts these on an inclined so an
unstable environment and it’s a loaded up CAMI, it’s a CAMI who’s been put on with a heavy
vest and she weighs like 40 pounds and so forth and so they have to remain
stable on the incline feature. So that’s basically the stability outline.>>Marietta Robinson: Excellent,
that’s terrific. Thank you so much. I would just like to make a comment
about this pass fail requirement that the staff has proposed adding and just say
I heard this wonderful NPR presentation this morning on harmonization of standards
but it related to automobiles and there was a discussion of harmonizing
the standards between Europe and the US and they talked about everything from
the difference in the way in the section of a windshield that windshield wipers have
to cover in Europe vs. the US and then talked about how difficult it is to
harmonize some of the standards because there’s culturally differences. For example in Europe pedestrians
are safer with respect to automobiles but in the US passengers are safer. So we know that there are these differences
and we have so many discussions internally and externally about harmonizing standards and
I’m delighted when we can find a way to do it that is actually adding to the
safety with respect to our standards. I would like to ask you Ms. Edwards you said
that the ASTM had put this out for ballot. Do you have an indication as to whether
that is going to be passed by the ASTM?>>Patty: They actually have not
sent it out to ballot as of yet. The decision to send it out to
ballot was made at the recent meeting which was just earlier this month. So I expect I think ASTM is planning on sending
out a ballot in early May so it should go on that and it’s usually a thirty day,
well, it’s always a thirty day ballot period and then at the end we should know.>>Marietta Robinson: And do you have
any reason for an informed opinion as to whether they’re going to add that?>>Patty: Oh I absolutely
definitely think they will add it. Whether or not it’s word for word,
everyone likes to word smith a little bit but I think the substance of it, as far as
I could tell there was absolutely no one in disagreement that it needs
to be added to the standard.>>Marietta Robinson: Excellent. Okay Dr. Jenkins I just have a quick
question for you and that is you’ve gone through the analysis about the
effect on different manufactures, but my question is whether
you think the universe of these carriers will be significantly
affected and or specifically decreased as a result of this proposed rulemaking.>>Jill: We do not believe so. The one firm who indicated that
they may drop out of the market from what they told me it doesn’t sound like they have a significant market
share so no we do not expect that.>>Marietta Robinson: Thank you very much
and thank you to all of you for the hard work on this and to the ASTM participants
as well but thank you to the staff. I have nothing further thank you.>>Robert Adler: Commissioner Buerkle.>>Commissioner Buerkle: Thank you very much. I really do not have any questions. I just want to thank Patty and Dave and your
entire team for the pre-brief and for all of your work on this project and just
appreciate all of your hard work. Thank you.>>Robert Adler: I did listening to Commissioner
Robinson in different cultural settings I was in China this past summer for the first
time and what I quickly realized is that when I’m crossing the street and
traffic wants to turn left I’m at risk, they feel they have the right of way and it
took two near misses for me to appreciate that and realize that so I think
you make a really valid point. I did just have one quick follow-up question. Patty the kickstand automatic set-up
is not a mandatory requirement now but you said most of the manufactures do that?>>Patty: Yeah of the units you
see down here they are automatic. Yes.>>Robert Adler: Very much appreciate that. Commissioner Robinson additional
comments or questions?>>Marietta Robinson: I have nothing further. Sorry I have nothing further only that this
is obviously a noticed a proposed rule making and I would certainly encourage anyone listening
to this and anyone in the audience manufactures, importers, retailers and certainly consumers
to submit comments if you have any for us which we will definitely consider. Thanks so much.>>Robert Adler: And I want to second
that sentiment and once again we want to thank the terrific CPSC staff first of
all for braving the elements and coming to the meeting but secondly for
the terrific work you did on that. Thank you all so very much. This meeting is now adjourned.

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