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MEMO/09/473

Brussels, 21 Oct 2009

Consumers: EU to set new safety standards for baby sleep products – Questions and Answers

1. Which precise articles do these safety requirements cover?

The safety requirements voted today concern the following articles:

  • " cot mattress" means a product providing support for newborns and children sleeping in a cot. It usually measures 60x120 cm or 70x140 cm and varies in thickness between 6 and 15 cm. It can also be foldable.

  • " c ot bumper " means an upholstered accessory for a cot tied to the inner part of it, generally used to improve the comfort of the child. It can cover at least one side of the cot.

  • " suspended baby bed" means a cot or a crib, often with a non-rigid or other flat surface suspended with cords, straps or slings from one or two anchorage points. It is used to lay down a young baby who cannot kneel or sit up unaided.

  • " duvet for children" means a fabric bag containing a soft filling for use in the cot to increase comfort when sleeping and prevent hypothermia.

  • " sleeping bag for babies " means a warmly lined or padded body-length bag, in which the baby is placed and designed to prevent hypothermia while sleeping or lying in a cot.

2. What specific safety requirements are being proposed?

2.1 Cot mattresses – examples of safety requirements proposed:

The main risks associated with this product are entrapment of the baby between the cot and the mattress and flammability.

To avoid these risks, the safety requirements that future European standards would fulfil are:

  • The mattress should not burn if directly exposed to a flame or spark or combustible components should not release toxic fumes if it does burn;

  • The child should not be able to lift the parts of the foldable mattress, which could give him/her access to the bed base and thus increase the risk of entrapment;

  • To prevent asphyxia of the child whose head or torso is entrapped between the mattress and the sides of the cot, the space between the mattress and the sides of the cot must be limited;

  • Other requirements will address risks linked to suffocation, choking, hazardous edges, structural integrity and hygiene.

2.2 Cot bumpers - examples of safety requirements proposed:

The main risks with this product are strangulation, suffocation and choking, to avoid these risks the safety requirements that future European standards would fulfil are:

  • There will be no cords or loops on the cot bumpers that could entangle a child's head;

  • Cot bumpers should not contain separate or small parts which can be detached by the child and fit completely into a child’s mouth and swallowed;

  • Cot bumpers should be designed and manufactured in such a way as to avoid parts likely to be used as footholds to use to climb on the product;

  • Cot bumpers should not pose an additional entrapment or asphyxiation hazard if the child manages to put his/her head between the cot bumper and the side of the cot;

  • Other requirements relate to care regarding sharp edges and hygiene.

2.3 Suspended Baby beds - examples of safety requirements proposed:

The main risks for this product are entrapment, suffocation and injury - to avoid these risks the safety requirements that future European standards would fulfil are:

Suspended beds should be designed to prevent impacts of the child in the bed against the frame or other furniture in the room due to sideways movement.

Suspended beds should be designed to limit rotation of the bed for instance when twisted or rotated.

The stand and the bed should be sufficiently stable to prevent accidental tipping over of the suspended bed which could cause the child to fall. Baby beds should remain stable when the child moves in the bed or when the bed swings along the amplitude permitted by the suspension device.

Other requirements relate to flammability, avoiding entrapment or entanglement, structural integrity.

2.4 Cot duvets - examples of safety requirements proposed

The main risks are suffocation and hyperthermia. To avoid these risks, the safety requirements that future European standards would fulfil are:

  • Warnings and instructions should draw carers’ attention to the temperature in the room where the duvet is used, to prevent hyperthermia;

  • Children's duvets should not pose microbiological hazards from insufficient hygiene of filling material of animal origin;

  • Stitching and decorative parts on duvets should not become loose when subject to mechanical stress from foreseeable use and thus pose a risk of entrapment (especially of fingers);

  • Other requirements relate to flammability, suffocation, choking, entanglement and hygiene.

2.5 Sleeping bags for babies- examples of safety requirements proposed:

The main risks here are choking on small parts and hyperthermia. To avoid these risks, the safety requirements that future European standards would fulfil are:

  • Warnings and instructions should draw carers’ attention to the temperature in the room where the sleeping bag is used, to prevent hyperthermia.

  • Stitching and decorative parts on the sleeping bag should not become loose when subject to mechanical stress from foreseeable use and thus pose a risk of entrapment (especially of fingers).

  • There should be no cords or loops on the sleeping bags that could entangle the child's head.

  • Other requirements relate to choking or suffocation, entanglement, flammability and hygiene.

3. Product information

Product information must be provided to reduce the risk of potential foreseeable hazards connected with the use of the product. Information concerning the safe use of the product must be provided. Furthermore, for some products like suspended beds, information on assembling and installation must also be provided.

Link to the study :

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/safety/projects/ongoing-projects_en.htm#project_results


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