PRODUCT SAFETY - WHATS THAT ABOUT?

What is product safety? well that's a good question, lets see if we can answer it for you.

All products that are sold have to be safe; there is a mountain of legislation out there that determines what safety tests certain items must have gone through before they can bear the CE Mark.

Let's give you an example, do you have bunk beds, well if you do then go and measure the distance between the base and the rails and it should be between 60mm and 75mm. This is because the Bunk Bed Safety Regulations state that this is the permitted gap allowable, this is in order to stop children trapping any part of their body. Who would have thought they would be regulations for bunk beds.

Or another example is look at the label in your nightie or pyjamas, what does it say on the label, probably "KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE". For nightware to be sold in the UK it should pass the Nightware (safety) Regulations, which requires that the fabric used for nightware satisfies the flammability test requirements of BS5722.

You name it and there is probably a safety regulation for it, but for those products that don't fall into a category then they are caught by the General Product Safety Regulations.

Let's take a closer look at the Toy Safety Regulations.

The Regulations apply to all people who sell or make toys, and a "toy" is defined as any product which is clearly intended for children under 14 years of age.

All toys that comply with the regulations can then bear the CE logo, which must be marked on the toy itself or at the very least on the packaging.

Toys have to be rigorously tested before they can be sold in the EU. Let's take a look at what a Teddy Bear will it have to go through before it can go on sale.

First it's eyes will be pulled to ensure that they do not come out, and then from there it will go on to have its stitching pulled apart by a special machine to test whether the stitching is strong enough. Some it's stuffing will be removed and tested in a very special machine that checks whether the stuffing contains chemicals that may be hazardous if a small child was to swallow any.

The Teddy will then have its fur pulled to see how much fur can be removed by simply tugging at it, if it looses a lot of hair then it may be only suitable for children over 36 months. Finally if the bear is to be sold in any packaging then someone will look at whether the packaging poses a potential hazard.