European Commission adopts EU standard for baby walkers to prevent infant accidents

On January 13, a European safety standard for baby walkers, which will help to prevent many childhood accidents, has been published in the Official Journal, following its formal adoption by the European Commission. Hospital emergency data from both the EU and the US over the last 20 years consistently shows that baby walkers are a hazard, with thousands of infants treated for baby walker accidents every year. Research from Australia indicates that at least one in three children using baby walkers will be injured at some point. Further research from the UK’s Child Accident Prevention Trust estimates that more children are injured by baby walkers than by any other nursery product. Baby walker accidents, such as tipping over or falling down stairs, can be very serious, as in most cases they involve injuries to the head. The EU standard introduces a requirement for stability tests during the manufacture of baby walkers, and for the design to be geared towards reducing the risk of injuries. Member States backed the Commission’s proposal to introduce this standard at the General Product Safety Committee (GPSD) in November 2008 and the European Parliament has also welcomed the decision. The standard will provide all economic operators and market surveillance authorities will have a clear, quick and single reference for making, importing or checking baby walkers for safety.