Electrical cords on baby monitors must now be labeled with a strangulation hazard warning under a new ASTM International safety standard. The standard is in response to reports by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that seven infants died as a result of strangling in baby monitor cords that were placed too close to a crib.
The new label reminds caregivers to mount the cord more than three feet away from the crib, according to Anthony Paolo, chairman of the subcommittee that developed the new safety standard, and vice president, corporate quality, Summer Infant Inc.
"This safety standard is a good first step toward preventing incidents with baby monitor cords," said Consumer Reports Program Leader Joan Muratore, who leads baby product testing. "Making parents and caregivers aware of the hazard and the severity of the potential consequences if a child should access the cord and get it around his or her neck, is crucial to preventing such deaths in the future. Our concern is whether or not a warning label is enough to prevent future deaths. Will parents pay sufficient attention to a label on the power cord?"
Paolo also said that the safety standard, ASTM F2951, is considered a baseline standard that can be built upon.
"We all encounter so many warnings on so many products we use every day, to the extent that we may see them without really absorbing the information they carry," said Muratore. "We look forward to this safety standard being strengthened in the near future."
ASTM F2951, Consumer Safety Specification for Baby Monitors [ASTM International]