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CPSC Action Insufficient to Stem the Tide of Fatalities Caused by Adult Portable Bed Rails

WASHINGTON, D.C.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) yesterday voted to begin a rulemaking that would require adult portable bed rails to meet mandatory safety standards. The decision comes in response to two petitions, including one submitted by Public Citizen in 2013 that asked for a ban on all such bed rails. Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, released the following statement:

“As long as adult portable bed rails remain on the market, frail vulnerable adults will continue to die unnecessarily from strangulation when their head or neck becomes entrapped in the bed rail. These products are inherently unsafe, and no feasible safety standards will eliminate the risk of death. Moreover, there is no evidence that adult bed rails help prevent falls and injuries.

“The CPSC reported that 129 people were killed by adult portable bed rails since our petition for a ban was submitted. Many more such deaths likely occurred during this time. How many more American must die before the CPSC finally bans these products?”