Does your cot meets the required Australian safety standards?
Ensure your cot should has been independently tested and meets the Australian standards AS 2172/2003. This means you can be rest assured that in general a cot purchased within Australia has been built to a high standard, minimizing the risk of harm. Ebayers can buy cots from overseas in bulk and sell them to you unknowingly and these cots have the potential of not meeting the Australian Standard
An example of the specific requirements, necessary to pass include:
- Head Entrapment Hazards - No cot is to have spaces between dowels or slat greater than 85mm; this prevents your baby's head becoming stuck (Clause 6.1(c))
- Limb Entrapment Hazards - No cot is to have spaces between 30mm and 50mm; this prevents your baby's limbs becoming caught causing distress (Clause 9.2(a)(b))
- Finger Entrapment Hazards - No cot is to have spaces on fixed parts between 5mm and 12mm; this prevents your baby's fingers becoming entraped (Clause 6.6)
- Hanging Hazards - No cot is to have a protrusion of more than 8mm so as to prevent clothing snagging and potential strangulation (Clause 6.8). This can be particularly common in older cots.
- Adjustable Base - There are critical dimensions to be adhered to to prevent baby from falling out and sustaining injury (Clause 6.1(b))
- Positioning Hints - Positioning the cot to minimise risk is vital and yet often overlooked (Clause 11.1). You need to ensure the cot is placed at a reasonable distance from curtains, blinds, heaters and power points. You need to keep medication, string, elastic, small toys or small items such as money out of reach from any position in the cot.
- Mattress Size - The required size mattress should be very clearly marked on the cot carton so as to assist you in purchasing the right size (Clause 11.3). Using an ill-fitting mattress can result in limb entrapment & distress.
- Strength and Durability - Check the flexibility of dowels by squeezing them together; some cots use a thinner dowel which could result in injury or entrapment. You could also expect to a get a reduced life from such a cot. Checks joins carefully. Strength is maximised when dowels and glue are used. Where screws are used, it can be unsightly and provide limited strength.
- Check the Dimensions Yourself - Use a ruler to check the dimensions yourself, to ensure complete peace of mind.
Note: The standard for cots in Australia became mandatory for all new cots manufactured after June 1998.
Tips for cot safety?
When installing and positioning the cot, ensure you follow the instructions carefully.
It is also important not to place the cot where baby might access nearby objects which may cause strangulation or other injury eg. blind cords.
Where can I find out more information about safety standards, hints and tips?
- SIDS Council of Australia www.sidsandkids.org
- Infant and Nursery Products Association of Australia Inc. (INPAA) www.inpaa.asn.au
How are cots tested?
In general all Australian shops like Babyco, Baby Kindoms have their models tested by an independent testing authority (Choice in New South Wales or Viclab in Victoria) prior to release, ask someone in store if yours has been tested.