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Mr. Santorum has been laying the groundwork for months. While the two-term senator lacks the name recognition and fundraising organization of his better-known rivals, he is a favorite among the social conservatives who hold huge sway in some early nominating contests.

CONSUMER PRODUCTS

Panel makes mandatory toddler-bed safety rules

The government has approved new mandatory safety rules for toddler beds. The new federal standard adds protections to voluntary standards already being used for toddler beds.

The new standard requires that the upper edge of the guardrail be at least 5 inches above the toddler bed’s mattress, that testing of the bed’s slats be consistent with testing for slats in cribs and that separate warning labels to address entrapment and strangulation hazards appear on the toddler beds.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which made the announcement Thursday, has been told by Congress to issue mandatory standards for various infant and toddler products.

The agency is aware of 122 incidents from 2005 through 2010, including four deaths and 43 injuries associated with toddler beds.

Cribs that convert into toddler beds also must comply with the new federal standard for toddler beds.

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