NCHR Comment on CPSC Adoption of Mandatory Safety Standard for Infant Bouncer Seats

October 5, 2022

We are writing to express our support for the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s plan to adopt a mandatory safety standard for infant bouncer seats. We enthusiastically support the plan to update the current CPSC voluntary safety standards and make them mandatory for manufacturers.

The National Center for Health Research (NCHR) is a nonprofit think tank that conducts, analyzes, and scrutinizes research on a range of health issues, with a particular focus on which prevention strategies and treatments are most effective for which patients and consumers. We do not accept funding from companies that make products that are the subject of our work, so we have no conflicts of interest.

We strongly agree that safety standards for bouncer seats should be mandatory rather than voluntary. Voluntary standards are not sufficient to protect consumers. They are not legally enforceable and the CPSC cannot compel manufacturers to comply.

The revised standard addresses the most common product-related hazards: suffocation and falls. Between 2006 and 2016, 347 incidents involving bouncer seats were reported to CPSC including 12 deaths1. The primary cause of fatalities was suffocation when unrestrained infants turned over in the bouncer or the bouncer tipped over on a soft surface trapping the infant. Falls most often occurred when a bouncer seat was placed on an elevated surface such as a kitchen countertop. Additionally, a study of infants under two years old who died in a bouncer seat found that the children were left unattended for an average of 150 minutes2.

The proposed new CPSC warning contains clear language advising parents never to use the bouncer on a soft surface, always stay close by to watch the baby in the bouncer and always use restraints. The updated warning also plainly states the bouncer is not intended for sleep and instructs parents to move a baby who falls asleep onto a safe sleep surface.

The updated warnings are in line with recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP urges parents only to use a bouncer seat on the floor and never on an elevated or soft surface3. The association also advises against using any sitting devices for sleeping, especially for infants younger than four months old who are more vulnerable to suffocation if they fall asleep in an inclined position3. And importantly, the AAP warns that babies should not be left unattended while in a bouncer seat.

We thank CPSC for planning to adopt the new mandatory standard in December 2022. The updated warning gives parents clear advice on how to avoid the possible hazards of using bouncer seats. In addition, making the safety standard mandatory will help ensure widespread compliance by manufacturers.


National Center for Health Research can be reached at or at (202) 223-4000.

1. New Federal Standard to Improve Safety of Infant Bouncer Seats Takes Effect. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Accessed September 28, 2022.

2. Batra EK, Midgett JD, Moon RY. Hazards Associated with Sitting and Carrying Devices for Children Two Years and Younger. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2015;167(1):183-187. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.03.044

3. Korioth T, Writer S. Health Alerts: Infant sleep positioners, bouncer seats, and more. Published online October 17, 2017. Accessed September 28, 2022.