Children playing

Young children constitute a very vulnerable group within society, and require a high level of protection. The driving force behind ANEC involvement in child safety is to enhance the quality and safety of children’s lives by ensuring that European Standards and legislation provide better protection for children; and decrease the number of accidents in which children are involved.

Children are often unaware of the dangers they face and ANEC is the only European organisation to pay attention to child safety aspects during the development of standards for consumer products. The ANEC child safety experts monitor that during standardisation work, standardisers do not concentrate only on the product, but also on the risks related to cords and packaging of the product (e.g. cords on bags can strangulate a child), and that child safety aspects in product standards are based on a hazard and risk analysis.

Work areas

1. Toys

Toys are used by children worldwide. It is therefore crucial for ANEC to follow the preparation of European Standards within the field of safety of toys. Toys are subject to EU legislation and fall within the scope of Council Directive 2009/48/EC “Safety of toys”.

The most important issues for ANEC to monitor and follow-up in the field of toys are the implementation of the Toy Safety Directive and the drafting, revision, or amendment of standards for toys. As toys are part of a very large international and regional trade, ANEC also monitors international standardisation work on toys.

2. Child care articles and children's furniture

The reduction of risks associated with the use of childcare articles (pushchairs, carry cots, baby carriers, sleeping bags, …) and children’s furniture (cots, cribs and cradles, …) is of particular importance, because these products are designed to be used by young children. ANEC therefore follows the standardisation of products designed to ensure and facilitate seating, bathing, changing and general body care, as well as sleeping, transportation and protection of young children.

For the moment, childcare articles and children’s furniture are not subject to a specific regulation, and fall under Directive 2001/95/EC on General Product Safety.

The most important issues for ANEC to monitor and follow-up in the field of child care articles are the drafting, revision, or amendment of standards for these product groups and to lead the way for a hazard-based approach during the work.

3. Playground and other recreational equipment

Play is essential in a child’s life. It is therefore important that playground and other recreational equipment is safe for children to use. ANEC participates amongst others in the standardisation work for playground equipment, water play equipment, inflatable play equipment, water slides, domestic swimming pools and portable football goals, focusing on terminology, requirements for safety, fitness for purpose, test methods, marking, installation and maintenance, surfacing and accessibility (play for all).

For the moment, playground equipment is not subject to a specific regulation, and falls under Directive 2001/95/EC on General Product Safety.

4. Products to be worn by children

The ANEC Child Safety WG also monitors the standardisation of products that are worn by children, such as children’s clothing and shoes, helmets and children’s jewellery.

5. Other issues relevant to child safety

ANEC also monitors the standardisation of other products and issues which are related to child safety and/or that pose a threat to child safety, such as: child protective devices, child-resistant cigarette lighters, packaging, cords on window blinds, child appealing and food-imitating products, problems with chemicals in products related to child safety, etc.

6. Market surveillance

European legislation and European standards are of no use if they are not properly enforced. ANEC monitors and participates as stakeholder in European joint market surveillance actions related to child safety. For more information, see

An unsafe product in Belgium? Please report it!

In order to revise or amend European Standards for children’s products, there is a need for more data about accidents and unsafe children’s products. ANEC is therefore a partner in the Flemish (Belgian) report point for unsafe children’s products. The report point is an initiative from the Flemish organisation "Kind en Gezin" (Child and Family). The idea is that parents, foster families, daycare facilities and anyone who looks after young children can use the “Kind en Gezin” website to report unsafe toys, children’s furniture or other products intended for children aged 0 to 3 years, or any accidents or near-accidents involving these products. It concerns a pilot project which will be evaluated at a later stage, and which can hopefully turn into a European project in the future.

Where can you report unsafe children’s products? Go to, click on ‘Veiligheid’ (Safety), ‘Voorkom ongeval’ (Prevent accidents) and then scroll down to ’Meldpunt Onveilig kinderartikel’ (Report point unsafe children’s products). Reports are made anonymously and are automatically submitted to the Belgian authorities who will investigate the case.

Activities in the European & international standards bodies

Full participation in following Technical Committees:

  • CEN TC 33 WG 3 TG 3 ‘Window blind cords’ (work completed)
  • CEN TC 52 ‘Safety of Toys’
  • CEN TC 52 WG 3 ‘Mechanical and physical properties’
  • CEN TC 52 WG 3 TG 2 ‘Cords on toys’
  • CEN TC 52 WG 10 ‘Activity toys’
  • CEN TC 136 WG 3 ‘Water slides and water play equipment’
  • CEN TC 136 WG 22 ‘Gymnastic and playing field equipment’
  • CEN TC 136 SC 1 ‘Playground equipment for children’
  • CEN TC 136 SC 1 WG 1 ‘Surfacing’
  • CEN TC 136 SC 1 WG 13 ‘Safety requirements and test methods’
  • CEN TC 207 WG 2 ‘Children’s and nursery furniture’
  • CEN TC 248 WG 34 ‘Textile child care articles’
  • CEN TC 252 ‘Child Care Articles’
  • CEN TC 252 WG 1 ‘Seating and body care’
  • CEN TC 252 WG 2 ‘Sleeping, relaxation and lying down’
  • CEN TC 252 WG 3 ‘Wheeled transportation’
  • CEN TC 252 WG 4 ‘Early learning and protection’
  • CEN TC 252 WG 6 ‘General and common safety specifications’
  • CEN TC 261 SC 5 WG 26 ‘Risk of suffocation to children from plastic packaging’ (work completed)
  • CEN TC 355 ‘Lighters’ + Ad Hoc Group (work completed)
  • CEN TC 364 ‘High Chairs’
  • CEN TC 398 ‘Child protective products’ (work completed)
  • CENELEC TC 61 WG 8 ‘Safety of electrical household appliances – Child appealing appliances’
  • ISO TC 61 SC 4 WG 10 ‘Lighters’


  • European Commission’s Consumer Safety Network
  • European Commission’s Committee under the General Product Safety Directive
  • European Commission’s Expert Group on Toy Safety
  • European Commission’s Expert Group on Toy Safety – Subgroup chemicals
  • European Commission’s Toy ADCO (Administrative Cooperation)
  • PROSAFE (several joint market surveillance actions)

Participation by correspondence in following Technical Committees:

  • CEN TC 52 WG 3 TG 3 ‘Projectiles’
  • CEN TC 122 WG 1 TG 1 ‘Anthropometric data for children’
  • CEN TC 136 ‘Sports, Playground and other Recreational Equipment’
  • CEN TC 136 WG 26 ‘Outdoor fitness equipment’
  • CEN TC 136 SC 1 WG 9 ‘Inflatable play equipment’
  • CEN TC 136 SC 1 WG 14 ‘Revision of EN 1176 Parts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6’
  • CEN TC 136 SC 1 WG 15 ‘Revision of EN 1176-7’
  • CEN TC 136 SC 1 WG 16 ‘Revision of EN 1176-10’
  • CEN TC 136 SC 1 WG 17 ‘Framework for the competence of Playground Inspectors’
  • CEN TC 158 ‘Head protection’
  • CEN TC 207 ‘Furniture’
  • CEN TC 207 WG 9 ‘Test methods’
  • CEN TC 248 ‘Textiles’
  • CEN TC 248 WG 20 ‘Safety of children’s clothing’
  • CEN TC 252 WG 5 ‘Child care articles - Feeding, drinking, sucking and similar functions’
  • CEN TC 402 ‘Domestic swimming pools’
  • CEN TC 402 WG 1 ‘Pool structure – design, product and installation’
  • CEN TC 402 WG 2 ‘Pool water circulation, filtration and treatment’
  • CEN TC 402 WG 3 ‘Mini pools’
  • CEN TC 402 WG 4 ‘Domestic spas and hot tubs’
  • CENELEC TC 61 WG 7 ‘Electric Toys’
  • ISO COPOLCO WG ‘Revision of Guide 14 - Product information for consumers’
  • ISO COPOLCO WG ‘Revision of Guide 41 - Packaging’
  • ISO TC 181 ‘Safety of Toys’


Use of children's products in non-domestic settings

The use of children’s products in the home, referred to as domestic use, has been regulated by national and European legislation and safety standards for many years. However, similar products for use in other settings, for example hotels, restaurants, nursery/day care centres and shopping malls, referred to as non-domestic use, are not necessarily covered by similar legislation or safety standards.

ANEC commissioned a technical study in 2016 to determine whether children are at increased risk of serious injury as a result of domestic products being used in non-domestic settings.

AIJU, the contractor of the study, concluded that high chairs, baby prams and pushchairs, changing tables, cots, bunk beds and baby beds are more frequently involved in incidents than others, considering the data consulted. Falls were the most common accident and the leading cause of injury to children using child care articles in non-domestic settings. Hence aspects such as stability, structural integrity and durability should be addressed to improve safety.

After the grouping of hazards not now covered by the European standards for these products, the study proposes further safety requirements and test methods to be considered in the revision of the standards.

The full report is available at

Safe sleeping conditions

During recent years there have been continuing reports of serious accidents, including some resulting in death, involving children in their sleep environment. Incidents of this severity are very alarming. Meanwhile, new types of products for use in the child’s sleep environment are coming on to the market. Health care professionals are sometimes giving the green light to parents and carers to use these products without always keeping in mind potential safety hazards. Co-sleeping of baby and parents in the adult’s bed is also becoming a trend, while potentially leading to additional hazards and accidents. Different views and best practices in the health care sector about domestic children’s sleep environments make it difficult to write safety standards for the relevant products. As young children are a very vulnerable group of consumers, especially in their sleep environment, ANEC plans to commission a Technical Study in 2018 on safe sleeping conditions with the aim to make sure that young children can sleep in safe conditions and that this is reflected in the relevant current European Standards or incorporated in new standards.

ANEC scores on standard for moveable goal posts

Children in the EU have died or have received very serious head injuries due to falls of non-fixed goal posts. For many years, ANEC has voiced its concern as the European standard for football goalposts only dealt with goalposts used during organised activities like trainings and competition. It did not take into account the use of these during non-organised or leisure activities.

As a result of our concern, CEN TC 136 WG 22 ‘Gymnastic equipment’ agreed in 2010 to work on new and separate European standards for portable goals. EN 16579 “Playing field equipment - Portable and permanent socketed goals - Functional, safety requirements and test methods” was adopted in October 2017. ANEC submitted support and a favourable opinion. A first standard, EN 16664 ‘Playing field equipment — Lightweight goals — Functional, safety requirements and test methods’, was already adopted in April 2015. ANEC played a full role in the development of both standards.

Toys: who plays with chemicals?

During revision of the Toy Safety Directive, ANEC expressed strong concerns about inadequate chemical requirements for toys. Despite our concerns, the adopted Directive does not sufficiently protect children from exposure to dangerous chemicals. Many dangerous substances will still be allowed in toys. In 2010, there was growing criticism on the chemical requirements in the Directive. Upon request of ANEC, the European Commission set up a subgroup on chemicals, in order to gather information on the chemical requirements in the Toy Safety Directive, and to make proposals within the legal framework for altering/improving the chemical requirements in the Directive. The consumer seat in this group is taken by ANEC. Since the creation of the group, ANEC has contributed to developing lower levels for chemicals in toys, such as formaldehyde and aniline.


To access position papers related to Child Safety please click the link, Position papers.