All children’s toys must meet strict safety requirements, whether they are new or second-hand. All new toys are required to bear a CE mark, which is a declaration that the toy complies with safety requirements. When you receive a second-hand toy to pass on, whether CE marked or not, you should thoroughly inspect it to ensure that it is not unsafe. Generally speaking, toys must not:
- Be made of flammable materials
- Have sharp edges of points
- Have easily detached parts or features (eyes, buttons, stuffing etc.)
- Contain toxic substances, or be painted with toxic paints
- Operate at more than 24 volts
- Toys should be designed and manufactured to meet standards of hygiene and cleanliness and avoid any risk of infection, sickness or contamination. To avoid suffocation, plastic bags used for packing toys must be too small for a child’s head, and should be made of plastic which is of sufficient thickness not to pose a suffocation risk.
Bear in mind that small parts are a choking hazard to children under 36 months of age.
All cots and cotbeds must meet strict safety requirements, whether they are new or second-hand. Pelican Parcels checks all donated cots/cot beds to assess their suitability, ideally they will have a label giving information of the size of mattress to be used. The spacing between the cot bars cannot be less than 24mm or more than 60mm. There also must not be any open ended tubes, sharp edges or small parts. Ideally a manual will be provided or details available to download.
Wheeled child conveyances
The term ‘wheeled child conveyances’ refers to all wheeled vehicles designed to carry one or two babies or infants – prams, buggies, travel systems – but does not apply to transporters for carrycots, toys or vehicles enabling children to move themselves about. Items must conform to the three points below:
- Wheeled child conveyances must conform to British Standard 7409 (or an equivalent European Standard) and must be marked BS 7409:1996, together with the name or trademark of the manufacturer or importer. The label with these details is usually found on the frame or seat covering
- A permanent notice on the vehicle must state: Children should be harnessed in at all times and should never be left unattended. The child should be clear of moving parts while making adjustments. This vehicle requires regular maintenance by the user. Overloading, incorrect folding and the use of non- approved accessories may damage or break this vehicle. Read the instructions.
- Instructions in English must be supplied with each vehicle. They should relate to the operation, assemble, use and maintenance of the vehicle. If the original instructions are lost then replacements may be downloaded from the internet.
Special advice regarding Maclaren pushchairs I
If you are checking one of the Maclaren models – Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller – it must be fitted with a hinge safety cover. Covers are available, free of charge, from the Maclaren website http://covers.maclaren.co.uk and must be fitted before passing on to a new family.
Pelican Parcels checks all donated highchairs to assess their suitability for re-homing. Key requirements include that the highchair has a harness that goes around the child’s waist and between their legs. That the highchair has a strong, sturdy framework and a wide stable base. If the highchair folds, it’s essential that it is stable and that all the locks work, or if the highchair has wheels that the front or back pair have a lock (usually a small black switch).