Effective 1 July 2010, SOLAS requires infant jackets for passenger ships.  The text below is taken from the IMO MSC 80 June 2006 Report (see US Marine Safety Association web site).



Regulation 7 – Personal life-saving appliances

4        In paragraph 2.1, the following new subparagraphs .1 and .2 are inserted:

“.1 for passenger ships on voyages less than 24 h, a number of infant lifejackets equal to at least 2.5% of the number of passengers on board shall be provided;
.2 for passenger ships on voyages 24 h or greater, infant lifejackets shall be provided for each infant on board;” 

and the existing subparagraphs .1 and .2 are renumbered as subparagraphs .3 and .4. The word “and” is moved from the end of renumbered subparagraph .3 to the end of renumbered subparagraph .4.

A copy of the applicable sections of the following IMO Resolutions may be found on the USMSA web site within the IMO MSC Reports  They are annexed to the reports.

  • MSC.200(80)-Adoption of Amendments to the Revised Recommendation on Testing of Life-Saving Appliances:
  • MSC.201(80)-Amendments to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as Amended, Chapter III, Life-Saving Appliances and Arrangements; and
  • MSC.207(81)-Adoption of Amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code.

 From the Testing code see MSC 80/24/Add.1 ANNEX 17

 Infant and child test subjects

  • 2.9.1 For child-size lifejackets, tests should be carried out with at least 9 able-bodied
  • persons, and for infant-size lifejackets, tests should be carried out with at least
  • 5 able-bodied persons. All test subjects should be selected according to table 2.2 portable 2.3 as follows:
  • .1 One subject should be selected per each cell containing a .1..
  • .2 Remaining subjects should be selected from cells containing an .X., without repeating a cell.
  • .3 At least 40% of the subjects should be male and at least 40% female.
  • .4 Devices for infants should be tested on infants as small as 6 kg mass.
  • .5 A manikin or manikins may be substituted for infant lifejacket test subjects if the manikin or manikins have been demonstrated to provide representative results compared to human subjects.

Table 2.2 Selection of child test subjects

  • Height Weight range (kg) range
  • (cm) 14-17 17-20 20-22 22-25 25-28 28-30 30-33 33-36 36-38 38-41 41-43
  • 79-105 1 X
  • 90-118 X 1
  • 102-130 1 X
  • 112-135 X 1
  • 122-150 1 1 X
  • 145-165 X 1 1
  • Table 2.3 Selection of infant test subjects
  • Height range Weight range (kg) (cm) Less than 11 11-14 14-17
  • Less than 83 1 X
  • 79-105 X 1 1
  • 90-118 X
  • 2.9.2 When conducting water performance tests under 2.8, infant and child-size
  • lifejackets should meet the following requirements for their critical flotation stability characteristics:
  • .1 Turning time: The average turn time for all subjects in the candidate lifejacket should not exceed the average time in the appropriate size RTD;
  • .2 Freeboard: The average results for clearance of the mouth above the water for all subjects should not be less than the average for the appropriate size RTD;
  • .3 Torso angle: The average of all subjects. results should be not less than the average for the appropriate size RTD minus 10°;
  • .4 Faceplane (head) angle: The average of all subjects. results should be not less than the average for the appropriate size RTD minus 10°; and
  • .5 Mobility: Mobility of the subject both in and out of the water should be given consideration in determining the acceptability of a device for approval and should be compared to mobility when wearing the appropriate size RTD when climbing out of the water, going up and down stairs, picking up an article from the floor, and then drinking from a cup.
  • 2.9.3 With the exception of reducing freeboard and self-righting performance, the

requirements for infant lifejackets may be relaxed if necessary in order to:

  • .1 contribute to the rescue of the infant by a caretaker;
  • .2 allow the infant to be fastened to a caretaker and contribute to keeping the infant close to the caretaker;
  • .3 keep the infant dry, with free respiratory passages;
  • .4 protect the infant against bumps and jolts during the evacuation; and
  • .5 allow a caretaker to monitor and control heat loss by the infant.