The rule adopts the applicable voluntary industry standard, ASTM F 977-07, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Walkers, and adds the following more stringent requirements:
- using the actual weight of a walker in a calculation to determine the launching distance for the stair fall test,
- specifying equipment used in the stair fall test,
- adding a parking brake test for walkers equipped with parking brakes.
These changes were made to strengthen the standard and reduce the risk of injury from these products. There has been an 88% reduction in injuries from 1994 to 2008, which may be attributed to the addition of a stair fall requirement included in the 1997 version of the ASTM voluntary standard.
The final infant walker rule would take effect six months after publication in the Federal Register. This is the effective date that was proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR). Consistent with the proposed rules recently published for toddler beds and bassinets, the effective date would apply to products manufactured or imported on or after that date.
Section 104 of the CPSIA, Standards and Consumer Registration of Durable Nursery Products, requires the CPSC to study and develop safety standards for certain infant and toddler products, including infant walkers.
Statement (pdf) from CPSC Commissioner Thomas H. Moore on the new federal safety standard for infant walkers.