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Commerce Commission To Visit Stores To Check Cots

Commerce Commission Will Visit Stores To Check Cots

Commerce Commission staff will be visiting shops today to check that cots are not dangerous to infants.

Commission Fair Trading Manager Rachel Leamy said that cots must comply with the product safety standard introduced by the Minister of Consumer Affairs in October last year.

"There was considerable publicity and discussion when the safety standard was developed and introduced, and it has now been mandatory for more than seven months," Ms Leamy said. "We will be warning any shops if they are supplying cots that do not comply. Any warnings would be followed up and further action could follow if warnings were not heeded.

"Most of our inspections will be at second hand shops. Second hand cots are covered by the safety standard and it appears that older cots are less likely to comply.

"Cots that do not comply-be they new or second hand-put infants at risk, and must be fixed or removed from sale."

However, it is important to note that the safety standard also applies to cots supplied by organisations that might not be in trade. That includes Barnardos and other community groups.

"We have no information to suggest that any community groups are supplying unsafe cots, but we would advise them to check their cots just to be certain for themselves and their children," Ms Leamy said.

The Commission is distributing free guidelines about the safety standard to all businesses and other organisations that it has identified as supplying cots. More copies are available and any business or organisation that did not receive one, or that needs more, can contact a Commission office.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs can also provide further information about the standard.

Background

When she announced the safety standard, the Minister of Consumer Affairs stated that cots were involved in the deaths of 22 children between 1985 and 1994, and injuries caused by cots accounted for the hospitalisation of 120 children.

The Minister made the standard mandatory under the Fair Trading Act. If the standard is breached courts can impose fines of up to $100,000 on an organisation and up to $30,000 on an individual.

Ends


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