With a dedicated team of specialists in juvenile products, SGS has the capability to help companies develop and market sellable and safe items, including children’s mattresses. They offer physical and mechanical testing, chemical testing, packaging evaluations and inspection services to ensure compliance with target market regulations. Their network of furniture laboratories covers China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and India, in Asia; France, Germany and the UK, in Europe; and the USA. In addition to complying with EN 16890:2017, their testing capabilities can also help companies comply with other European, US, international and local regulations. Below are details on regulations set forth by the European commission governing the production and sale of children’s sleep products:
In Decision 2010/372/EU, the European commission stated that children’s sleep products should, “not jeopardize the safety or health of children and carers when they are used as intended or in a foreseeable way, bearing in mind the behaviour of children.”
Babies and children should sleep in a safe environment requiring cot and crib mattresses to meet stringent safety requirements. Expert advice suggests that babies should sleep on horizontal, firm and flat surfaces; keeping soft objects away from them and removing loose bedding, to reduce the risk of suffocation, entrapment and/or strangulation.
In May 2017, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) published EN 16890:2017, a new standard covering mattress products for children. This standard covers mattress, including mattress bases and mattress toppers, used in children’s cots, travel cots, cribs and suspended baby beds, in both a domestic and non-domestic setting.
EN 16890:2017 is a voluntary standard that considers all the hazards identified in other European documents. Companies considering European Commission Decision 2010/372/EU and the requirements of the General Products Safety Directive (GPSD) 2001/95/CE, can therefore use EN 16890:2017 to gain compliance with EU rules and ensure safety requirements are met. Stakeholders should be aware that the UK and France have their own national legislations covering children’s mattresses.
EN 16890:2017 includes:
- Requirements on the migration of listed metals, according to applicable requirements and test methods from toy safety standard EN71-3
- Measures to reduce fire hazards but also to avoid the use of flame retardants – flammability tests are conducted in accordance with EN597-1 using cigarettes; additionally, mattress covers will be tested using toy standard EN71-2 and the flame propagation speed should not exceed 50 mm/s
- The size of the mattress to cot or crib is critical and so the nominal dimensions are therefore controlled to ensure a maximum tolerance of 10 mm; considering possible shrinkage of removable covers
- Requirements to prevent entrapment of body, limbs or fingers by regulating gaps between components of the mattress
- Requirements to prevent strangulation by cords and loops (limiting length and perimeter)
- Limiting suffocation hazards from plastic sheeting through attachment of warnings
- Mattresses must meet firmness requirements, before and after durability tests, to stop very young children suffocating by sinking into soft or loose mattresses/materials
- Requirements to ensure small parts or filling cannot be detached and swallowed by a child. Testing includes tension tests to ensure seams and fastenings will resist normal use
The new standard is comprehensive and covers all aspects of children’s cot and crib mattresses, including ensuring product information is consistent with cot and crib standard requirements of EN 716 and EN 1130.
Manufacturers and suppliers of children’s mattresses for cots and cribs are advised to ensure their products comply with the relevant laws for their target market.
About SGS: SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.