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Ensuring the Safety of Juvenile Products for the US Market

There are many products on the market intended to keep babies and children healthy, comfortable and happy. Given the sensitive nature and use of these products, there are strict manufacturing and regulatory standards in place in the United States to prevent hazardous products causing harm to children. It’s essential that brands and manufacturers comply. 🎊

Let’s explore the US requirements for juvenile products and how brands can meet them in this article.

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What is a juvenile product?

In the US, durable juvenile products are those intended for use or reasonably expected to be used by children under five years of age. These items include:

infant with toys - juvenile products regulations

A full list of products can be found on the CPSC website.

What risks do juvenile products pose?

Hazardous juvenile products have the potential to cause injury to children, and in the most terrible cases, death. Risks range from entrapment to choking, suffocation, strangulation, falls and ingestion of toxic chemicals.

The US has the largest and longest-running product-related injury surveillance system worldwide and provides open access to its product safety recall database. From this data we can see the sheer impact of unsafe products:

Aside from the risk of death or injury to children, brands face the threat of recall if their juvenile products are found to be non-compliant or unsafe. This can not only be costly for the brand, but also harm customer perceptions of your product.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other organizations maintain current lists of recalled merchandise. In the case of dangerous juvenile products at home or childcare centers, consumers can check with consumer agencies and the CPSC to learn about product recalls.

What regulations govern juvenile products in the US?

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforces safety requirements for all durable juvenile products. These cover:

For product categories where the CPSC has released final regulations, manufacturers must comply with additional physical and mechanical safety requirements. The manufacturer or importer is responsible for ensuring all regulations are met.

For product categories that aren’t currently covered by official CPSC regulations, manufacturers are encouraged to comply with ASTM voluntary standards.

What about additional certification?

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) provides additional certification for juvenile products. Unlike the CPSC regulations, JPMA certification is voluntary.

The JPMA Certification Seal provides an additional layer of assurance for parents and caregivers that products are safe to use. To achieve certification, a product must be tested in an independent lab to verify that it meets safety, performance and functionality standards. JMPA certification testing is based on ASTM standards, federal and state laws and some retail requirements.

What happens if a product is recalled?

The CPSC's product recall requirements ensure that unsafe products are quickly removed off shelves in US stores. In the event of a product recall, a manufacturer must:

  1. File a prescribed incident with the State Department.

  2. Contact (in writing) all known retailers of the product to cease the sale and the distribution of the product. Retailers should remove all recalled products from shelves.

  3. Contact all consumers that have completed the registration card and inform them of the product recall and how to dispose of the product. Disposal must comply with federal environmental standards.

  4. Post a recall warning on the company website and any product pages.

  5. File a prescribed certificate of disposal form with the State Department no later than 90 days of the recall.

How can QIMA help?

At QIMA, we offer comprehensive lab testing services to ensure the safety of all juvenile products. Our team of experts can design custom compliance programs for your specific products and markets which can include risk assessment and design evaluation, regulatory compliance testing, chemical and analytical testing, physical and mechanical testing, performance and reliability testing, and labeling requirements. Contact us today to learn more!

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