This week has brought renewed public interest to the Sling Safety Standard. The public comment period for the proposed CPSC rule is currently open and will be closing on October 6th. Many of the comments that have been submitted could potentially prove harmful to the babywearing industry. A significant number of these comments were made with no prior knowledge pertaining to the extensive history of babywearing as an industry, the standard being constructed as a collaboration with industry representatives, or even reading the proposed standard.
The BCIA has released a public statement offering some guidelines to submitting comments. The complete statement can be found here: http://babycarrierindustryalliance.org/2014/09/sling-safety-standard-public-comment/
Some key points from the BCIA’s statement before you consider commenting:
- 1) Read and understand the relevant ASTM standard (in this case ASTM F2907-14a):http://www.astm.org/Standards/F2907.htm
- 2) Watch the video briefing to the Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=70227
- 3) Read the docket: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=CPSC-2014-0018-0001
- 4) Familiarize yourself with the current CPSIA regulations in place and what they mean (material change testing, tracking labels, etc.)
To learn about the history of the Sling Safety Standard, read this thread at thebabywearer.com (viewing requires free registration)
Babywearing International, Inc. as an organization holds an official voting membership in both the ASTM and BCIA. These organizations, along with a number of carrier manufacturers, retailers, and educators, have spent several years drafting voluntary safety standards which allow the continued sale and import of slings and wraps in the United States. Without regulation, the entire product category would be at risk of mass recall and potential ban. As such, we support the voluntary standard and its proposed acceptance by the CPSC. We strive to add an educational and outreach component to this standard in order to make safe babywearing a reality to more families, but we need to make it clear that carrier instructions can be made in such a way as to prevent most user error.
At this time, we encourage our educators NOT to comment on the standard and to pass the same message along to their groups. If you wish to help please consider becoming a member of the BCIA. You may purchase a personal, supporting membership at their website, here: http://babycarrierindustryalliance.org/. Please do note that the website has been intermittently down due to high traffic.