Quarter of cots ‘very unsafe’, says Dutch Product Safety Authority

Five out of twenty cots that the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) examined last year had serious safety risks. The deficiencies found present a real risk of limb entrapment, head injury or choking hazard. The NVWA advises parents and / or guardians not to use these cots for children up to four years old. Less risky shortcomings were found in three other cots studied. The sale of all of these eight cots has been prohibited. On the website of the NVWA there is an overview with photos of the researched children's beds by brand name that consumers can consult. On the site of veiligheid.nl (Dutch), parents and guardians can read what they can pay attention to when purchasing a cot.

Cot by Photographer: Sven Brandsma | Source: Unsplash

Cots Safety Risks

Cots that do not meet the legal safety requirements pose risks: children can suffer head injuries by falling, body parts become trapped, or they are at risk of suffocation. The risks are not the same for all shortcomings, because the chance of the danger occurring differs. A serious danger can be, for example, the distance between the bars in the upright sides and the distance between the bed base and the upright sides. With certain dimensions between parts, there is a risk that limbs or the head can become trapped in them. If a child's bed is not stable, there is a risk that the bed will tip and the child will fall to the floor. For example, when the child stands in the bed and leans against an upright side or moves back and forth. The child can suffer a head injury during this process.

Research

The safety of vulnerable groups such as babies and toddlers is a priority at the NVWA. That is why products for those target groups are regularly monitored. In 2020, a number of brands of children's beds were examined. Cots were also tested against the European standards EN 716-1: 2017 + C1: 2019 and EN 716: 2017. The cots were examined for, among other things, stability, openings and distances between parts, distances between the bed base and upright sides and the attachment and strength of the bed base.

Of the twenty children's beds examined, eight had one or more deficiencies. The other twelve were found to be in compliance on the items examined. The shortcomings were found to vary widely; none of the items examined appeared to occur in more than two cots.

Measures

The NVWA recommends parents and / or guardians not to use the eight cots with (serious) shortcomings for children up to the age of four. The companies concerned have been ordered to stop selling these cots. In the case of cots where there was a real risk of serious injury, the companies were fined and instructed that they must immediately warn their customers and buyers and recall the cots.

The NVWA has informed the European Commission about the deviating products that have been found. Also market surveillance authorities in other Member States have been are aware of this and can act in their own country. In view of the research results (25% safety risk), the NVWA will conduct a follow-up study into the safety of cots on the Dutch market in 2022.

Source: NVWA (Dutch)

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