It’s always important for parents to choose safe products for their family, so we were glad to see a new EU Product Safety Award. The Gold winners? A child car alert device from Italy and outdoor wear for kids with wearable safety from Finland.
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We often hear of product recalls due to safety concerns, so it’s really refreshing to hear a good news story about products for families.
As well as recognising businesses that set the highest bar for childcare product safety, the EU Product Safety Awards are a great way to discover new and innovative ideas for your family.
The European Commission has revealed the winners of the inaugural EU Product Safety Award. From stair trainers and outdoor wear to strollers and nappies, we think you’ll be impressed.
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What is the EU’s Product Safety Award?
The EU’s Product Safety Award rewards businesses that go the extra mile to protect consumers. The awards are given to those who put safety at the heart of what they do, going beyond the minimum requirements laid down in EU law.
Juries at national and EU-level chose a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award winner for SMEs and large businesses in each of the two categories (safety of products sold online and safety of childcare products).
Winners in the SMEs Category
Gold: Remmy (Italy) Car Baby Alert
A pioneering anti-abandon device that can save lives
Each year, infants and young children die as a result of being left in overheated cars. To prevent this from happening, Italian company Remmy developed in 2013 the world’s first car baby alert. This simple yet effective device alerts the driver that the child is on board once the car has been turned off or in the event that the seat belt has been incorrectly fastened.
The product is partly assembled in a local social cooperative which supports the inclusion of marginalised and disadvantaged groups. The company engages both on- and offline with parents on how to travel safely in the car with their children. It has also provided input to a new Italian law that will oblige all Italian residents carrying a child up to 4 years of age to have an anti-abandon device.
Silver: Evomove (Denmark) Nomi Highchair
Making the world a safer place to sit
Highchair accidents are very common among small children and are usually caused by the chair tilting backwards. With this in mind, the acclaimed Norwegian chair designer Peter Opsvik and the Danish company Evomove launched their next generation highchair, Nomi Highchair, which helps eliminate such mishaps thanks to a special anti-tilt roller. Nomi is also designed with organic round shapes instead of sharp angles and corners.
All of the Nomi components are regularly tested according to strict standards. Evomove offers advice to its consumers online and has developed handy assembling guides and videos. All retailers selling Nomi are trained at least twice a year to ensure proper safety guidance to end consumers.
Bronze: Reer (Germany) Safety Devices
Preventing accidents at home
For close to 100 years, German company Reer has been inventing a whole host of products with child safety in mind. Its stair gates, doorstoppers and window locks offer a simple solution to a widespread problem of child accidents at home.
Reer is also committed to educating consumers about potential child safety hazards at home by offering advice to parents and producing educational videos, guides and checklists. The company has developed a virtual childproof house, which can be viewed online. Reer actively contributes to the development of relevant European safety standards, helping to increase the safety of children’s products throughout the industry.
Special Mention: Mippaa (Netherlands) Stair Trainer
Helping children climb stairs safely
Stairs are the leading cause of injury for small children. Dutch company Mippaa’s first product is the Mippaa Stair Trainer. This innovative product is a unique child railing to support small children when they are learning to climb stairs and thus minimise the risk of falls. The Stair Trainer can be attached to the existing handrail and therefore hangs at child level. The handrail is narrow and suitable for children’s hands.
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Winners in the Large Company Category
Gold: Reima (Finland) Outdoor Wear for Kids
Wearable safety all year round
Finnish company Reima, founded in 1944, manufactures and sells active wear for children. Its products are designed specifically for children, not just regular clothes in smaller sizes.
Reima has a unique understanding of materials and kids’ needs when it comes to demanding environments and heavy use. The company’s strict product and testing requirements clearly exceed those of the EU. For example, all hoods on its outdoor clothing are detachable, and all of its garments are free from perfluorinated carbon compounds (PFCs), nanomaterials and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
But Reima goes beyond basic product safety by designing clothes that offer extra protection to children. Reflective mittens can be life-saving for children in the darker seasons, while the UPF and anti-bite wear helps protect them in the summer. Reima has also put in place extensive recall and customer feedback procedures.
Silver: Cybex (Germany) Priam Baby Stroller
Combining safety and design
With the Priam, German company Cybex has a stroller that incorporates several innovative safety features. These include visibility in the dark, high sun protection, all-wheel suspension to minimise any jolts to the baby’s neck and head as well as one-hand folding into a self-standing position, which leaves the child safe, while being carried by mum or dad.
The company’s own safety standards clearly exceed those of the EU. For example, the range of hazardous chemicals controlled has been expanded from the mandatory 19 to more than 300. Likewise, the products’ durability, strength and temperature tests go far beyond the norm. The company’s world-class testing centre provides services to companies across the industry. To be ready in the case of a possible product safety risk, the company runs regular recall simulations.
Bronze: Mega Disposables (Greece) Babylino Sensitive Nappies
Kind to baby’s skin
Greek company Mega Disposables S.A. is one of the largest manufacturers of personal hygiene products in Europe. Its Babylino Sensitive nappies were the first in Europe to successfully get the Oeko-Tex® standard 100 certification. This is an internationally recognised system of laboratory testing for more than 200 chemicals, certifying that the products contain no traces of harmful substances.
The company maintains continuous communication with its customers and responds to any consumer feedback within 24 hours. Mega has installed high resolution inspection cameras on all its production lines, controlling each single piece produced, ensuring continuous quality control.
Special Mention: MAM Baby (Austria) Soothers and Feeding Equipment
Setting and exceeding standards
MAM Baby is an Austrian company that develops, produces and sells soothers and baby feeding equipment. The company has played a leading role in developing relevant safety standards, raising the level of safety throughout the industry. As early as the 1980s, MAM started developing the soother standard for Austria, which has been subsequently rolled out across Europe. At the same time, MAM’s internal requirements and testing criteria go well beyond the norms.
The company has established its own research department and works closely with medical experts and parents in the development of its products. A robust traceability system provides all information on the products for the past 10 years.
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Have you looked at any of these product safety award winners before? Which one is your favourite? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!