Travel Safely With Children: At Home and Abroad
Children and travelling make everyday tasks more difficult and require a whole host of equipment. As consumer thinking turns to holidays, travel toys and juvenile products manufacturers can devise new and exciting ways to keep kids happy and healthy.
Childcare items used by little travelers are subject to strict product testing standards and guidelines, with good reason. In a growing and changing marketplace, manufacturers need to anticipate and understand the updates and modifications to regulations as new products are developed and risks better understood.
Pushchairs and Strollers
Pushchairs and strollers are in constant evolution. In a crowded marketplace manufacturers and designers vie for custom by dreaming up new product features, folding systems and designs. The common thread however, is safety and compliance to regulatory standards.
EN 1888 was revised in May 2012 and the US is working on revisions to the equivalent ASTM standard. Wheeled child conveyances in Europe are impacted by EN 1888. It introduces more accurate requirements and test methods – making compliance clearer and easier and now takes a hazard-based approach to child safety.
Locking mechanism requirements have been updated to cover new folding system designs. Handle strength, parking devices and stability requirements have been reinforced to take into account foreseeable risks linked to the everyday use of the product. Also, the product information requirements have been reworded to highlight essential safety warnings and information to improve consumer understanding.
Watch this space for updates to the United States’ ASTM standard.
Cycling is increasing in popularity and a new generation is being introduced to the sport with the advent of bicycle trailers. A brand new standard, EN 15918, has been developed and was published in September 2011 to cover the potential risks of using these products on public highways in combination with an adult’s bicycle. Trailers that can be converted into a pushchair by adding a third wheel and a handle must also comply with EN 888.
For babies, the freedom to sleep safely while they travel is key to a successful holiday. These widely distributed products are regulated in Europe by EN 716, which will be updated in 2012. The amendment will cover the risk of entrapment to a child crawling outside the cot and clarify requirements such as attachment of base-mattresses to the cot base.
Baby Carriers – Slings
Simple, discreet and close to the caregiver, slings are an increasingly popular way to carry a baby. This has prompted both the US (with ASTM F2907) and European Union (Draft Guidelines for the Safety of Children’s Slings) to publish safety requirements specifically for these products. The new requirements include product integrity and construction standards, as well as the need for strict and detailed instructions showing the safest way to attach and carry a baby.
Car Seats and Safety
Out and about during the holiday period likely means children buckling up into a car seat. All car seats on the market must meet one of the following regulatory requirements, in accordance with its destination market:
- ECE 44 (European Union)
- FMVSS 213 (United States)
- AS/NZS 1754 (Australia and New Zealand)
These commonly agreed texts give requirements for the construction of seats and their components. These include a thorough certification process, regular production checks, ageing tests and a dynamic impact test to ensure that the ability of any product to absorb impact. The latter must be conducted in an approved laboratory.
With the largest global network of consumer goods experts and testing facilities around the world SGS is the partner to trust. Our comprehensive testing services for juvenile products will improve your access to markets while also reducing product recalls and cutting the cost of achieving compliance.
2012 industry events
- Kind+Jugend, 13-16 September, Cologne (Germany): SGS Booth in Hall 11.1 /F-044
- ABC Kids Expo, 14-17 October, Louisville, KY (USA): SGS Booth (to be confirmed)
Keep up-to-date with regulatory changes in Safeguards, a regulatory bulletin written by our experts. Recent Safeguards about Juvenile Products include:
New European Standard for Bicycle Trailers (EN 15918:2011) (SafeGuards No. 093/12 JUN 2012)
New European standard for pushchairs and prams (EN 1888:2012) (SafeGuards No. 090/12 JUN 2012)
New Safety Standard for Sling Carriers, ASTM F2907-12 is Published (SafeGuards No. 053/12 APR 2012)
EN 747 Part 1 And 2 Bunk Beds Standards Revised (SafeGuards No. 052/12 MAR 2012)
A New Standard for Safety Barriers: EN 1930:2011 (SafeGuards No. 034/12 MAR 2012)
To find out more contact:
EU: Aude Caplet (SGS France)
Americas: Richard Postman (SGS North America)
Asia: Anne Zhang (SGS Shanghai)
Senior Expert, Juvenile Products
SGS CTS France
t: +33 4 42 61 64 57
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.