Design should be beautiful but it should also be functional and safe. We look at just some of the existing regulations for children’s products and what to consider when choosing a piece of furniture or accessory for your child’s bedroom.
For a number of consumer products, European Standards play a crucial role in defining the level of safety to be found on the market. Even after Brexit these laws will continue to influence our lives. Here are 4 examples:
The Toy Safety Directive was implemented into national legislation in 2011. All toys presented for sale in the UK must bear the CE marking and the name and address of the person who first placed the toy on the market. The CE mark is a declaration by the manufacturer that the product satisfies essential safety requirements and can be sold within the European Union.
A number of accidents each year are caused by using a baby walker. Often thought to be a good way of teaching children to walk, the increased mobility and elevated height means that the child could actually be at a greater risk of falling down stairs, or reaching up and pulling objects down onto themselves. Make sure yours does the following: conforms to European standard EN1273:2005; is too wide to fit through doorways; has a gripping mechanism to stop it from going over the edge of a step.
Everyone loves a bunk bed, and the health and safety rules are fairly self-explanatory (don’t fall out of the top bunk, don’t slip on the ladder, etc.). Children under 6 shouldn’t really be sleeping on the upper bunk anyway, but for children of all ages you should make sure the guardrails are set up on both sides of the top bunk, and extend to at least 16cm above the mattress. Make sure to check that there is no opening between the mattress and headboard/footboard – having finally got them to sleep, you really don’t need a stray book or toy falling through the crack and waking up the child underneath!
Toy chest or trunk
A chest is always a good solution for keeping a child’s bedroom floor clear of toys. Check that the chest conforms to Standard EN 71-1:2011, which ensures that the hinge will hold open at any position, and that there are good ventilation holes. Also make sure there is no latch – and that the lid is light enough to be easily opened by the children, in the hope that they might start to put their own toys away…!