Public Citizen Petitions the Consumer Product Safety Commission to Ban Adult Portable Bedrails due to Strangulation Risks

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Public Citizen sent a petition today to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) asking for a ban on adult portable bedrails. Portable rails are designed to slip under an ordinary mattress and are advertised as making beds “safer” for seniors who have trouble getting in and out of bed unassisted. The CPSC reported in 2012 that bed rails have been associated with at least 155 fatalities, mostly from strangulation incidents where an elderly victim became stuck, wedged, or trapped between the mattress and bed rail. There is also no evidence that bedrails actually help prevent falls. Public Citizen has asked the CPSC to ban adult portable bedrails because the product cannot be re-designed to eliminate the strangulation risk.

Correction: the original version of this petition erroneously included, as enclosure # 3, Public Citizen’s letter to the Food and Drug Administration requesting a ban on the marketing of bedrails (May 4, 2011). That version of the petition has been removed and replaced with a version containing the correct enclosure #3: Public Citizen’s letter to the Federal Trade Commission to order bed handles, Inc., to stop its deceptive advertising (September 6, 2012).