How To: Annual Compliance Review for your Babywearing Business

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Annual babywearing compliance review: who needs to do it?

January is a terrific time to do a scheduled annual compliance and process review for your babywearing business. Although baby carrier manufacturers hold the highest regulatory burden in the industry, everyone working in babywearing should make this process standard.

An annual compliance review is usually associated with baby carrier manufacturing businesses in this industry. The truth is, though, that no matter what kind of babywearing work you do, having a standard review process is important.

Regulations and data for babywearing educators, healthcare workers, and other related professionals

Currently, there is no national or international standard board for babywearing educators, and there are no standardized regulations or laws governing the work.

However, as a babywearing educator or as a professional who is working in a space related to babywearing, there are several things you should review annually as a best practice. You should review the nuts and bolts of your business, if you have one. But you should also stay up-to-date on current data, trends, standards, research, and recommendations for using baby carriers, especially as they pertain to newborns.

If you are working with a group or in a babywearing-adjacent industry, you may also like to read the section below about healthcare, nonprofit, and other organizations.

Not everything on the compliance list will pertain to your work, but you should look it over carefully. If you have questions about how to complete each step, the BCIA offers checklists and personalized advice to our members who have questions about the compliance process.

Compliance for baby carrier resellers

If you are a baby carrier reseller, it is important to understand the laws that govern your business. There may be national, state, and local rules to consider as well as laws or regulations in any country or state to which you are shipping merchandise.

You may be required to keep records from the brands you carry to show that they have certified their products as being compliant with baby carrier regulations. For example, in the US, you are required to check for a CPC for each shipment of baby carriers you receive.

In addition, you should stay informed about standards, recalls, and safety incidents.

Not everything in the list below will apply to you. If you have questions about regulatory compliance in your region, the BCIA offers resources, checklists, and advice to baby carrier resources across the globe.

Annual review for babywearing non-profits, healthcare organizations, and social service organizations

Even if your organization is not focused on baby carriers, if you are providing an adjacent service where you are working with babywearing families, it is good practice to appoint someone in the organization whose role it is to keep the organization up-to-date on any changes or information relating to baby carriers.

Pediatric nurses, birth and lactation workers, social workers, and therapists are just some examples of professionals who are not strictly “babywearing educators” but who may encounter questions about baby carrying or find themselves in a situation where the knowledge is important.

Organizations should be aware of which products have been recalled, safety data, and changes to “best practice” recommendations. Parents often have questions about hip development related to baby carrying, questions about “tummy time” and how it relates to carriers, or questions about whether they can carry their baby too much or too little.

Not everything in the list below will apply to you. If you have questions about any of these items, or if you need help creating an annual briefing for the staff in your organization, your BCIA membership ensures you will have access to support in these endeavors

Compliance review for babywearing businesses: the nuts and bolts

As you put together your annual baby carrier compliance review process, here are a few things to consider. Approximately half our members are located in the US, so this list is skewed toward US regulations, the but the premise is similar for other countries..Since our inception in 2010, the BCIA has truly been an international organization, so if you have questions for your specific country, it is nearly certain that we can support you in creating a compliance review that meets your needs.

For BCIA members, there is peace of mind knowing that we monitor all of the baby-carrier-related aspects of business compliance. Whenever there are changes or updates, we share them in our monthly newsletters and members-only Facebook group. If this list seems overwhelming, then check out our membership options and consider a BCIA business or nonprofit membership.

Items to review or consider during your annual compliance review

  • Ensure your business paperwork is up to date, including any certifications, insurance policies, or registrations.
  • Has the safety standard that applies to your product been updated recently? For instance, the ASTM F2907 Sling Standard was updated at the end of 2019, effective June 2020.
    • Note: we are anticipating changes to the ASTM F2549 Frame Carrier, ASTM F2907 Sling Carrier and the European Carrier standards later in 2022, so plan on doing a more in depth standards/compliance review for the start of 2023 unless your testing requirements indicate a need to re-test sooner.
  • Is your testing plan and testing schedule laid out for the upcoming year? Do you know when your own test records or any component test reports expire?
  • Are you planning any design, material or component changes that will require new or retesting?
  • Have there been any regulatory changes in the past year? The CPSC business guides are clearly written and regularly updated. See the links for Soft Carriers, Slings, and Frame Carriers.
  • Do you make a product designed for sleep? Carriers are not generally not considered sleep products under the new Infant Sleep Standard (compliance date June 23, 2022) but if you make any kind of hybrid product or other juvenile products designed to facilitate sleep, you will want to familiarize yourself with the new CPSC Infant Sleep Standard. BCIA guidance on this issue is here.
  • Have there been any industry recalls, incidents or reports? The Safer Products database covers US incident reports. US recalls are covered here. RAPEX covers the European Union. The BCIA 2021 Incident Data analysis is here.
  • Has there been any new research or overarching changes in what is considered “best practice” during the year?

BCIA product and service compliance review

In addition to the above review for annual babywearing compliance, the BCIA provides products and services that make it easy for our members to stay up-to-date with baby carrier compliance and regulations.  

Here are changes and updates to note as you complete your annual review:

  • Printed warning labels that meet the ASTM standards: 2021 Test Reports/GCC for all of our printed warning labels are available for your records here. Please use this GCC for any labels purchased November 2020-Dec 2021.
    • (Note: Updated 2022 Test Reports for our Dec 2021 sling labels are in process right now and the website will be updated as soon as they are available.)
  • Done-for-you CPC: The Children’s Product Certificate template and instructions have also been updated. They are not major changes, just a few clarifying points, but you should review them and update your certificates.
  • Done-for-you checklists: Manufacturer and Retailer compliance checklists have been reviewed and updated as well.