Campaign to ensure safety of second-hand cots

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About 50 West Australian children are taken to hospital with cot-related injuries each year, prompting a new campaign to educate parents about the safety of second-hand cots.

Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the campaign aimed to prevent the sale or exchange of dangerous cots that did not comply with current Australian safety standards.

“The child safety campaign will be directed to parent groups, online classified sites, charity and second-hand furniture stores as well as the wider community,” Mr Mischin said.

“Posters, a video and a smartphone app have been produced outlining the mandatory standards for cots to prevent injuries or deaths; such as the minimum and maximum gap allowed between the bars to ensure an infant won’t get its head or limbs trapped.

“New parents are often given cots by friends or relatives, so it’s important that these cots are examined carefully and checks are carried out to prevent any injuries or deaths.  It is illegal for retail stores to sell a product that fails to comply with mandatory safety standards.”

The main measurements to check are:

  • spacing between the bars or panels should be no greater than 95 millimetres
  • new cots cannot have spaces between 30 and 50 millimetres so there is no risk that the child’s arms or legs could become trapped
  • ensuring the mattress is firm and fits tightly – gaps should be no more than 20 millimetres
  • the distance between the base of the mattress to the top of the cot should be 600 millimetres and 250 millimetres when the drop side is down.  If the base is adjustable, the distance is 400 millimetres when the base is at its highest position.

“We don’t want cots to become a death trap for infants or be the cause of an injury, so we urge all parents to make themselves familiar with the safety requirements and destroy older cots which do not meet the mandatory standards,” the Minister said.

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“We should all be conscious of hazards that may threaten babies and infants, so cots that don’t comply should be taken out of circulation, never passed on or sold.”

Fact File

(Source: Australian Competition & Consumer Commission)

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Date Created: June 10, 2016