Protecting Your Child from Defective Products

One aspect of impending parenthood people look forward to the most is shopping for nursery furniture, buggies and baby clothes. With so many wonderful products and gorgeous attire available, it is easy get carried away with the aesthetics and forget to pay attention to the safety elements of the products you are purchasing. Babies and young children are extremely vulnerable to defective products, and unfortunately, there have been numerous incidents of serious injury and even death due to faulty merchandise.

So how can a new parent ensure the products they purchase for their precious child are safe? Are there certain things you should look out for when deciding what type of product to purchase?

This article will focus on four products; cots, changing tables, high chairs and pushchairs, examining how parents and caregivers can best ensure the safety of what they buy.


When it comes to where you place your baby to sleep, product safety is of paramount importance and the standards should not be compromised. In the United Kingdom, the cot you purchase should meet British Safety Standard BSEN716.

In the United States more children die every year in accidents involving cots than any other nursery product. In July 2009, a six month old baby boy in Fife, Scotland died when he became trapped between the mattress and the side of his cot. The inquiry into his death found the cot he was sleeping in “had a defect which rendered it unsafe” (as stated in the report). The manufacturer subsequently issued a safety device for the cot.

According to the European Child Safety Alliance: Child Product Safety Guide, when purchasing a cot you should ensure that:

• The spacing of the slats is no more than 6cm in width so a baby’s head cannot become trapped between the bars.
• The cot is less than ten years old, and is not broken or modified in any way.
• The gap between the edge of the mattress and cot bars is no more than two fingers’ width wide.
• If the cot is second-hand, it should not have a ‘drop-down’ type mechanism as these have been found to be unsafe.

Changing Tables

A moment’s inattention can result in a baby falling off a changing table. If you decide to purchase a changing table make sure it has a wide surface to lay your baby on when changing them, and a safety strap to secure your infant and prevent him or her from rolling off the table.

High Chairs

Study findings released in December 2013 showed that in the United States there had been a 22% increase in the number of injuries involving children under three years and high chairs between 2003 through to 2010. Each year, 9,400 American children are injured from falling out of a high chair, with head trauma being the most common type of injury sustained.

Most injuries from high chairs are caused by falls; therefore, it is important to pay attention to the safety strap that secures your child in the seat when purchasing the product. Ensure that:

• The waist belt has a buckle that cannot be fastened unless the crotch strap is in place.
• The base of the high chair is wide and heavy for stability. You want to ensure that your baby or toddler cannot tip the high chair over if they start to rock backwards and forwards.
• There is a post in between the child’s legs which will prevent them slipping out through the bottom of the high chair.

The high chair you purchase should conform to British Safety Standard BS EN 14988.


In 2009 Maclaren recalled a million pushchairs in the United States after reports that children had their fingers amputated by the pushchair folding mechanism. The company did not recall any pushchairs in the United Kingdom; however, they did make hinge covers available on request.

When purchasing a pushchair for your child, ensure that:

• It has a five-point harness. You may need to purchase this separately if buying a second-hand, older pushchair.
• The harness fits your infant or child snugly, and is made of good quality, strong material.
• The brake is effective and locks the wheels.

The British safety standard you are looking for when purchasing a pushchair is BS EN 1888.

In summary, checking products for possible defects, ensuring they meet British Safety Standards, and following the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling furniture can protect your child from receiving injuries from merchandise.

Defective Beko Appliances Blamed For 11 Deaths

The number of UK deaths attributed to faulty kitchen appliances made by Turkish-owned company Beko has risen to 11, after a defective fridge freezer was blamed for a fire that killed a Belfast pensioner in January 2009. The 10 other alleged victims either also died in fires, or were poisoned by deadly carbon monoxide (CO) gas leaking from Beko-made gas cookers.

Beko insists it did enough to recall defective products and make consumers aware of the risks. However, an investigation by The Sunday Times claims that the firm didn’t act quickly enough to raise public awareness around the fire and poisoning risks posed by some of its products – despite Beko being warned about the potential dangers in November 2008.

Sadly, it looks like the deaths caused by defective Beko products could have been avoided. And Beko is now facing at least one major lawsuit as a result of its failure to make consumers aware of design flaws, or remove these products from the market. Thankfully, deaths caused by defective products are rare. But every year, thousands of people suffer physical, emotional or mental damage after using or being exposed to a defective product.


Compensation claims for defective products

As with any type of personal injury, you may be entitled to claim compensation if you’ve suffered harm from a defective product. To make a claim, the damage sustained must have been preventable, or caused by the manufacturer’s negligence or omission.

There are three main types of defective product claims:

Claims for manufacturing defects. E.g. internal injuries caused by food or drink contaminated by foreign objects during the manufacturing or packaging process.

Claims for design defects. E.g. electrical burns caused by using a faulty electrical product, where the fault was caused by a design defect.

Claims for inadequate warnings/instructions. E.g. harmful side effects from using a drug, where these weren’t mentioned on the product packaging.


Making a defective product claim

Defective product claims can be complex and it’s important to take expert legal advice. Let Injury Lawyers 4U handle your claim. We’ll give you an honest appraisal of the viability of your case before pursing your claim. If you want to proceed, we’ll offer advice and guidance every step of the way, and given that we work on a No Win No Fee basis, we won’t rest until you get the compensation you deserve.

Call us at any time of the day or night to discuss your claim on 0845 345 4444.