WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a new federal rule intended to improve the safety of booster seats for children, including booster seats used at home and in restaurants. A booster seat is a “juvenile chair” that is placed on an adult chair to elevate a child, up to five years old, to standard dining table height.

The new rule does not include children’s booster seats intended for use in cars.

The new federal safety rule incorporates the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (ASTM F2460-18, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Booster Seats). It also addresses a number of factors to ensure consumers know the correct way to use a booster seat and how to keep children safe while using them. Requirements in the new standard include:

  • The retail package of the booster seat must indicate the minimum dimensions of the adult chair on which the booster seat will fit.
  • All booster seats must have an active means of attaching to an adult chair, in order to prevent booster seats and children from falling off of the adult chair.
  • Warnings on the booster seat must remind consumers to make sure the booster seat is securely fastened to the adult chair before each use.
  • To prevent falls, consumers are also warned to stop children from pushing away from the table while in the booster seat.

CPSC is aware of a total of 912 incidents, including two fatalities, related to booster seats, occurring between January 1, 2008 and October 31, 2017.  Falls out of booster seats resulting in injuries to the head are the most common injury hazard. Other hazard patterns associated with booster seats include restraint/attachment problems, seat-related issues, including lock/latch failures, and tray and design problems.

This rule will become effective 18 months after date of publication in the Federal Register and applies to products manufactured or imported on or after that date.  This rule will make it illegal to sell products in the United States that do not meet the regulation.

The Commission is required by Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act) to issue consumer product safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. The Commission has approved new federal safety standards for several durable infant or toddler products, including full-size cribs, non-full-size cribs, play yards, baby walkers, baby bath seats, children’s portable bed rails, strollers, toddler beds, infant swings, handheld infant carriers, soft infant carriers, framed infant carriers, bassinets, cradles, portable hook-on chairs, infant sling carriers, infant bouncer seats, high chairs and baby changing products.

The Commission voted 4 to 0 to approve the standard on June 26, 2018.