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Infant Bathtub Drowning Risks Lead to New CPSC Safety Rules

Federal regulators have implemented new mandatory safety standards, which are designed to address the risk of drowning in infant bathtubs which have caused dozens of preventable deaths in recent years. 

The new infant bath tub safety standards were announced in a press release issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on October 6, making it illegal to sell infant tubs that do not meet the new regulations.

Infant tubs are now required to contain warnings designed to provide caregivers with information about drowning and fall hazards, and how to avoid those hazards.

In addition, new infant bath tubs must meet new performance requirements, which call for the bath tubs to prevent common breakage problems involving locking mechanisms. These mechanisms often break, allowing children to face a drowning risk. It also implements static load testing requirements.

The new CPSC regulations were voted in unanimously by the commission in March, following at least 31 deaths from infant bath tubs between 2004 and 2015.

Over the past seven years, the CPSC has approved new safety standards for many infant and child products, including full-size cribs, play yards, baby walkers, strollers, infant swings, cradles, infant sling carriers, and many more products.

CPSC estimates indicate more than 2,300 infant bath tub related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency rooms during the same time period.

Common injuries include drowning, lacerations from cracked tub frames, product failures, entrapment hazards, slippery tub surfaces, mold and allergy issues, and injuries related to battery failures.

The CPSC also warns that young children can drown quickly in small amounts of water.

While many caregivers think the injuries may never happen to their child, the CPSC warns it is still important to follow certain precautions when placing your child in an infant bathtub, including:

  • Never leave a child alone near any water, even for a moment.
  • Always keep young children who are in a bathtub within arm’s reach. If you must leave, take the child with you.
  • Don’t leave a child in a bath tub under the care of another young child.
  • Learn CPR, which can be a lifesaver during a drowning, when seconds count.

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