Members of an F15.21 panel January 8 discussed how to handle infant slings that can hold more than one baby. Currently, the F2907 standard is written with single-occupant wraps in mind. Much discussion involved instruction language, including a model from European standards. Broadly, the discussion involved two concepts: conveying the maximum number of occupants and telling users to follow instructions. Some points that arose:
- It likely would be better to use a phrase like "per the manufacturer's instructions" rather than "according to the instructions provided." The reason is that there are many configurations for wrapping sling, and manufacturers cannot handle them all in instructions. They cover basic ones and supplement with online instructions for others.
- It might be better to focus on multi-occupant positions rather than multi-occupant units. Carrying a single baby still would be possible. The goal would be to emphasize which configurations are intended for which numbers.
- The group will need to address testing at least one configuration at each intended number of children as well as related weight specifications.
- There would be a lag between ASTM making such updates and CPSC accepting them into its Section 104 rule. There was some concern about retailers not accepting updated instructions until that occurred. An agency staffer on the teleconference explained the best-case turnaround would involve months due to comment and effective-date needs. However, she also emphasized both that it was too soon to predict staff's view of the eventual changes and, in any event, that she could not speak for the commission.