Trampoline

Trampoline – FACT SHEET

Did You Know?

  • Most children are injured when more than one person is on the trampoline at the same time. There is a greater risk when one person is bigger than the other.
  • Babies and toddlers are too young to use a big trampoline.
  • Children under the age of six are at a higher risk of hurting themselves on a trampoline due to their lack of physical development and co-ordination.
  • Joining an organised club is the safest way for children to use a trampoline.

How To Buy Safely

  • When thinking of buying one of these items, consider what your priorities are. Is cost the priority, or is it more important for it to be easy to store? Is it sturdy enough to not tip over?
  • Trampolines for use by children at home should be marked with a CE symbol.
  • If you are buying your trampoline second hand you should always check the padding is in good condition and that it preferably comes with a safety net.
  • If you buy the net separately check you have bought the correct size.

How To Set Up Safely

  • Secure your trampoline on a flat, soft surface area such as grass.
  • Position it away from trees, walls, fences, washing lines, garden furniture and children’s toys.
  • Before using check there are no pets, objects or people on or underneath the trampoline.
  • Make sure the padding and safety net are securely fastened.
  • Your trampoline may come with a ladder. If possible consider removing this to prevent small children accessing the trampoline when unsupervised.

How To Use Safely
Trampoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Only one child should use the trampoline at a time.
  • If the trampoline looks worn or damaged do not use it.
  • Don’t encourage children to perform somersaults or other acrobatics – even with training this can be dangerous if attempted at home on a garden trampoline.
  • Supervise children at all times.

 

Ride on Toys

Ride on Toys FACT SHEET

Did You Know?

  • Ride on Toys could apply to anything your child rides. From the traditional plastic framed cars that a child sits inside, to bikes and scooters. If you child is riding a bike, scooter or something similar personal protection equipment (PPE) like helmets, knee-pads and elbow pads should be worn to protect them from injury.
  • The maximum speed of electrically powered ride-on toys must be limited to minimize the risk of injury.

How to Buy Safely

  • When thinking of buying one of these items, consider what your priorities are.
  • If you’re buying a ride on toy, ensure it is the correct size for your child, check the safety features it has and that your child can use it properly.
  • Take your child with you – make sure their feet touch the ground and that the toy is stable when your child is seated.
  • If you are purchasing a second hand/used product, ask questions about its history, who it was used for, their age, the age of the product and most importantly – look for signs of any damage.
  • Ride on toys must be marked with a CE symbol and the name & address of the manufacturer and/or importer.
  • If you are buying online check the sellers rating or reviews and their location. Goods sold online may well be cheaper but beware of inferior or even fake products. The picture and description may say it’s a brand you recognise, but what is delivered could be something else. Make sure the goods you receive match what was advertised online – if they don’t, contact the seller and the website. Sites like eBay have teams dedicated to resolving cases where the sent item doesn’t match what was advertised.  The most important thing is to make sure your purchase doesn’t put your child at risk!

How To Set Up Safely

  • There should be clear warnings about any hazards presented by the toy itself.
  • Make sure the play area is free from hazards such as uneven surfaces.

How To Use Safely

  • Remember that your child may use a toy in a way that it was not intended to be used.
  • Parents and carers should supervise babies and young children when they are using ride-on toys and ensure that they are not used on uneven surfaces or in the vicinity of hazards such as ponds or steps.

High Chairs

High Chairs, and Chair/Table Mounted Seats FACT SHEET 

Did You Know

  • These items are designed to be used by babies and toddlers who can sit unaided. Generally speaking, they are designed for use by children who weigh less than 15kg or are aged under 36-months.
  • A five point harness is the safest method for securing the child in – one strap between their legs and two on either side.

How to Buy Safely

  • When thinking of buying one of these items, consider what your priorities are. If you’re buying a high chair check it has a wide base for stability and that any tray locks securely and cannot be removed by your child. If you buy a folding chair make sure it has an effective locking device. Look for chair designs with a post between where your child’s legs will go; this will help prevent them slipping down and getting trapped under the tray.
  • High chairs should meet the requirements of safety standard BS EN 14988:2017. Check your chair is marked with the number of this standard and the name or trademark of the manufacturer, distributor or retailer.
  • If you are purchasing a second hand/used product, ask questions about its history, who it was used for, their age, the age of the product and most importantly – look for the safety marks listed above and signs of any damage.
  • If you are buying online check the sellers rating or reviews and their location. Goods sold online may well be cheaper but beware of inferior or even fake products. The picture and description may say it’s a brand you recognise, but what is delivered could be something else. Make sure the goods you receive match what was advertised online – if they don’t contact the seller and the website. Sites like eBay have teams dedicated to resolving cases where the sent item doesn’t match what was advertised. The most important thing is to make sure your purchase doesn’t put your child at risk!

How To Set-Up Safely

  • A brand new item will come with instructions for its use. Try to follow the steps as set out. If you are having difficulty, call the manufacturer for advice, a helpline number may be found in the instructions or online.
  • If you have purchased a used/second hand item the instructions may not be present. Try searching online for the manufacturer as many set-up guides are available to download for free. Try calling the manufacturer directly.
  • Avoid placing the high chair next to a table, counter, cooker or anywhere else where the child may be able to grab items or use their legs to push against (i.e. a wall).
  • Also, make sure the floor surface is not slippery or uneven.
  • When it’s not in use, it should be stored out of reach of children, so they do not try to climb into it. A folded away high chair is also the type of product where small fingers can be crushed or trapped.
  • When using a chair or table mounted seat ensure it is securely attached and check this each time you use it.

How To Use Safely

  • Before feeding your child, make sure you have everything you are going to need within easy reach – never leave your child unattended in a highchair or equivalent.
  • Always use the harness and make sure all belts and straps are adjusted to the size of your child. Never rely on the feeding tray alone to keep your baby in.
  • When they are nearing the upper age limit of the product, you may find your child is able to rock in the seat which could lead to the high chair falling over. It is better to graduate to a chair at this time and continue with adult supervision.

Cots and beds

Cots and Beds FACT SHEET

Did You Know?

  • Young children move around a lot when sleeping and can easily fall out of bed.
  • If you purchase a cot with drop-down sides, be aware that young babies can slide between the frame and the mattress which can cause injury or restrict breathing. Our information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at the bottom of this page has lots of information relating to best practice involving babies and sleeping.
  • Bunk beds are not recommended for children under 6.  

How to Buy Safely

  • When thinking of buying cots and beds consider what your priorities are. Is it cost, or is it more important for it to be easy to set up? How about the safety and suitability for your child? Make sure you have read our information about SIDS at the bottom of this page.
  • Check any cot conforms to the latest safety standard, BS EN 716-1:2008+A1:2013. It should be marked with a reference to this standard together with the name or trade mark of the manufacturer, distributor or retailer. The cot should also be accompanied with assembly instructions.
  • If you’re buying a second hand cot you may wish to replace the mattress. Any new mattress should be a good fit to the cot, ensuring your baby cannot trap their arms of legs down the side.

Bunk Beds

  • We do not advise that children under the age of 5 sleep in bunk beds, However, as your child gets older, you may wish to use one.

How to Set Up Safely

  • Follow the instructions provided but if you’ve purchased a second-hand item, without instructions, find out the manufacturer is and search online to see if you can find a set.
  • For child safety, it is best to site cots for babies, and beds for young children, away from windows and radiators. Young babies should always be placed on their backs ‘feet to foot’ of the cot without pillows, cot bumpers or soft toys in the cot, to keep them safe.

What The Law Says 

  • General Product Safety Regulations require these items to be safe but there are also specific regulations for bunk beds detailing requirements to prevent entrapment.
  • Due to the number of serious accidents that have occurred where children have slipped through gaps in the restraining rails of bunk beds and trapped their heads, a standard has been developed. To prevent injury, strangulation or suffocation a British/European Standard BS EN 747-1: 2012 and BS EN 747-2: 2012 has been developed,
  • The Standards specify various safety requirements that a bunk bed must have. This includes; Protective barriers, Guard rails, Ladders, Strength of materials, Durability, Instructions for use and more.

SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – commonly referred to as ‘cot death’ – is the term used to describe the sudden and unexplained death of a baby. SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants aged between one month and one year in developed countries. Some 290 babies die of SIDS every year in the UK. Nearly half of these deaths were boys in 2013 and the rate of infant deaths is higher for mothers below the age of 20.* Sadly, the cause of SIDS remains unknown. However, research has identified the simple steps parents and carers can make to reduce the risk of their baby dying suddenly and unexpectedly

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and birth
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months
  • Breastfeed your baby
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired
  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot. A room temperature of 16-20°C is recommended
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding.

*Credit Office of National Statistics 2015

Car seats

Child Car Seats FACT SHEET

Did You Know?

  • Child car seats that were manufactured before 1995 are no longer legal for use.
  • Children must use a child’s car seat until they are 135cm tall or 12 years old, whichever is soonest.
  • Not all car seats fit all cars – be sure you are buying a compatible seat before handing over your money!
  • You should choose a child’s car seat based upon their weight or height and not their age.

 

How To Buy Safely

  • Check that the seat is suitable for your car. The shape of the seat, the length of the seat belts and the position of belt anchorage points will vary. The manufacturer and the retailer can advise on this.
  • Choose a retailer which is knowledgeable and will demonstrate how to fit the seat. Avoid buying by mail order or over the internet unless you are certain it will fit your car properly.
  • Consider what your priorities are. Is it that the product must be easy to use, or is it more important for it to be a seat that can grow with your child?
  • Only EU-approved child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle. Check that the seat meets the latest safety standard. Look for ECE R44:04 or R129 which should be marked on the seat. However, not all Isofix seats fit all Isofix cars so check with the seat manufacturer or retailer before you buy.
  • i-Size seats comply with the latest car seat safety standard ECE Regulation 129 but require Isofix connection.  These seats offer more protection as R129 takes into account side impact collisions whereas the older standard R44 does not.  You can recognise an i-Size seat from this logo:
  • We recommend you use a rear facing seat for as long as possible and at least until your child weighs 9kg, or reaches 15 months if using an i-Size seat. 
  • If you’re buying a seat for an older child we strongly recommend you avoid backless boosters as they simply don’t offer the same protection as other seats.
  • Only buy a second hand car seat if you can be certain about its history. If it was in an accident there may be hidden damage that could render it ineffective. Having a copy of the instructions is important too so you can fix the seat to the car safely.
  • If you are buying online check the sellers rating or reviews and their location. Goods sold online may well be cheaper but beware of inferior or even fake products. The picture and description may say it’s a brand you recognise, but what is delivered could be something different. Make sure the goods you receive match what was advertised online – if they don’t, contact the website and seller. Sites like eBay have teams dedicated to resolving cases where the sent item doesn’t match what was advertised. The most important thing is to make sure your purchase doesn’t put your child at risk!

How To Set Up Safely

  • It’s generally safer to fit a child’s car seat in the rear of the car rather than the front.
  • If you fit a rear-facing seat in the front of a car you MUST ensure the front airbag is deactivated.  To do this consult your car’s manual.
  • If fitting a child’s seat in the front of a car the car seat should be positioned as far back as it will go.
  • If you take a child car seat out of the car make sure it’s fitted properly every time it’s put back in.  If it stays in the car all the time check it regularly to make sure it’s securely fitted.
  • Police and Trading Standards checks have found the majority of car seats are fitted incorrectly, check the instructions. If you don’t have instructions these can probably be found on the internet.

How To Use Safely

  • There are three common types of child car seats; those with an integral harness, seats with an impact shield and booster seats/cushions.
  • If using a seat with an integral harness make sure the top of the harness is about 2cm below the shoulder of a child in a rear facing seat and 2 cm above the shoulder of a child in a forward facing seat; also the harness should be quite tight so that only two fingers can fit between the child’s chest and harness.
  • If using a booster seat the seat belt should be worn as tightly as possible with the lap belt going from hip to hip (rather than over the tummy) and the diagonal belt should rest on the child’s shoulder rather than their neck.
  • Remember that the clothing your child wears will affect the fit of the harness so check each time you use the seat.
  • Avoid dressing your child in a thick coat or bodysuit when using a car seat as this will reduce the effectiveness of the seat’s harness.
  • We recommend you limit the time your child spends in their car seat particularly when they are new-born.  Taking regular breaks will also help keep the driver alert!

Anything else you should know

The law regarding the sale of backless booster seats changed in March 2017.  Under new EU wide regulations, manufacturers are not allowed to introduce new backless booster seats (booster cushions) for children weighing less than 22kg or shorter than 125cm.

These seats are unsuitable for small children and offer limited protection in the event of a collision because the child is not held securely by the adult seatbelt across their body. New models of backless booster cushions must be clearly labelled as only suitable for children over 125cm in height and 22kg in weight. The new rules don’t affect existing models of seats or cushions and it doesn’t mean that they are illegal so parents who already own and use backless boosters will still be permitted to use them. However, a recent study has indicated that 66% of parents with children under the age of 12 do not know the current laws about child car seats and these changes may encourage parents to consider checking how their child travels.

Industry safety tests  also disturbingly indicate that 8 out of 10 parents install child car seats incorrectly, when using a seat belt while 94% of parents use ISOFIX correctly.

Research in Sweden has shown that rear-facing child car seats can offer up to 75% better protection in the event of an accident.