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Think COT this Christmas


The festive season is nearly upon us and Christmas often means trips and visits to relatives across the country. Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Officers are reminding young families to be prepared when taking children to stay at houses that have not yet been fully child-proofed.

Travel cots are ideal for when families are moving around, but Trading Standards officers are offering parents helpful tips on how to set them up to avoid any unnecessary risks to babies and young children.

Remember to think COT this Christmas -

C.....Construction. Carefully read and follow the instructions for assembly and use. All locking devices must operate correctly, do not use a cot that is damaged or has missing parts. Ensure the surfaces are clean.

O.....Other Hazards Place the cot in a safe position, away from strangulation and choking hazards and away from windows. Looped blind/window cords should be removed or wound around a cleat, and toys with small parts should be out of reach.

T.....Temperature - Ensure the room remains at a comfortable temperature. Small babies must be placed in the correct sleeping position and suitably covered.

Incorrectly constructed cots or products that are damaged, may result in a cot collapsing and potential injury to a child. If using a second hand cot, parents must ensure that it is complete and that the locking mechanisms are still functioning.

Don’t forget that children can reach out of cots and anything with small parts should be kept out of reach.

Blind cord safety packs are available from Trading Standards, giving advice on cot positioning and providing a small plastic cleat which can be use to prevent incidents occurring. Over 20 young children have been strangled by blind cords in the UK since 1999.

To request a pack please contact ts.safetyintel@hants.gov.uk, phone 01962 833620 or order online.

In 2013, safety standards for new blind cords will be changing to give greater protection to young children – Hampshire businesses can use the contact details given above to learn more about their obligations from Trading Standards and prepare for the new rules - full details of the new standard PDF.