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Portable Rail Bed Standards Seen

September 22, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted Thursday to develop mandatory safety standards for portable bed rails.

The standards will be designed to reduce the risk of entrapment and strangulation bed rails pose to young children. The CPSC said it took the action because the industry have failed to adopt a voluntary standard.

Portable bed rails are intended for use on adult beds to help prevent children from falling out of bed. In the past 10 years, the commission has learned of 14 deaths to children, most of whom were under 2 years old, who became entrapped in a space between the bed rail and the mattress, as well as 40 near-miss incidents.

Despite manufacturers’ labels that warn bed rails are meant for children 2 through 5 years old, and CPSC warnings against placing younger children to sleep on adult beds, parents sometimes put children under 2 on beds when a crib is not available.

If the bed rail is pushed out from the mattress, young children can fall into the space and suffocate or strangle. CPSC staff believe a change in the design of portable bed rails could eliminate the danger.

The first step to creating regulations will be the publishing of a notice in the Federal Register, followed by a comment period.

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On the Net:

Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov

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