Market surveillance of

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Market surveillance of
Report
2008:02
Market surveillance of
prams with adjustable handles - 2007
Market surveillance of prams with adjustable handles-2007
Report 2008:02e
© Swedish Consumer Agency 2008
2
Summary
In 2007, as part of the Swedish Consumer Agency's market surveillance inspection
work, the Agency carried out an inspection of children's prams on the market. The
number of accidents due to falls from prams has increased during the 2000s. There
has also been a substantial increase in the number of prams with adjustable handles
in Sweden, and the Agency has investigated a large number of complaints about
prams of which the handles have broken or the locking mechanism has released.
The purpose of the inspection is to reduce the number of prams with defective
handles, and thus to reduce the number of accidents due to falls from prams. An
important element of this is to draw attention to the fact that accidents happen due
to the availability on the market of prams with unsafe handles. The results of the
tests can also be used as input for the work of revising the European standard for
prams.
A market survey has been carried out and, out of almost 100 brands in the survey,
ten prams with adjustable handles were tested during the autumn of 2007. The tests
were carried out by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in accordance with
relevant parts of the European standard for 'prams, pushchairs, buggies and travel
systems' (EN 1888:2003), with particular emphasis on the strength of handles. In
addition to the standard tests, extended tests of the handles were carried out.
Five out of the ten tested prams failed the requirements of the standard in respect of
strength. One pram failed the extended tests, but the remaining four passed the
extended strength tests. Of the ten tested prams, only two complied with the
requirements of the standard in respect of marking. The Agency has instructed the
companies responsible to submit their responses to the defects found.
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Contents
SUMMARY ........................................................................................................................................ 3
CONTENTS ....................................................................................................................................... 4
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................. 5
Background ............................................................................................................ 5
Purpose................................................................................................................... 7
Aspects considered ................................................................................................ 7
Definitions ............................................................................................................. 7
Method ................................................................................................................... 9
THE RESULTS ................................................................................................................................ 10
ANALYSIS ....................................................................................................................................... 14
CONTINUATION WORK ............................................................................................................. 14
SOURCE LIST................................................................................................................................. 15
APPENDICES .................................................................................................................................. 15
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Introduction
One of the duties of the Swedish Consumer Agency is to monitor compliance of
products with the Product Safety Act (2004:451) (Appendix 1). The purpose of the
Act is to prevent goods or services causing injuries to persons. As part of the
Agency's surveillance work, it conducted a market inspection of children's prams in
2007.
Background
Children's prams are a product that is used by virtually everyone with small
children. They have to withstand the treatment to which they can be exposed by
being pulled up steps, being lifted on and off buses and trains with goods in the
shopping basket and on the handle. A pram can often be used for more than one
child, and there is a substantial second-hand market for them. From the point of
view of safety, the handle is one of the most important parts of a pram: if it cannot
stand up to the treatment, the person in charge of the pram risks losing control of it.
The use of adjustable handles on prams has increased considerably since the start of
the 2000s, and the Swedish Consumer Agency has investigated a large number of
complaints about prams with adjustable handles being involved in accidents that
have occurred when the pram has been pulled over some obstacle such as a step or
the edge of a pavement. Where these incidents have involved prams with heightadjustable handles, the handles have failed at the hinged joint, leaving the parent
with just the handle in his/her hands. In the cases involving reversible handles, the
locking mechanism for the handle has failed, allowing the pram to tip over. The
entire seat or lie-flat part of the pram body has tipped over on to the road or steps,
so that the child has fallen out or hit the surface beneath, even if strapped in. In
some cases, this has resulted in serious injury such as skull fracture. There is
considerable risk of serious injuries if a child falls on to a hard surface.
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In 2003, the Agency received a considerable number of complaints about accidents
to prams having adjustable handles. It therefore carried out a market inspection that
resulted in several prams having to be recalled due to failure of their handles: see
Swedish Consumer Agency report no. 2006:5.
Injury statistics from IDB (previously EHLASS) also shown that there has been an
increase in the number of accidents involving falls from prams during the 2000s.
Although the number of children in the 0-3 age group has not increased, there has
been an increased in the number of accidents from somewhat over 400 per year in
1998-2000 to somewhat over 500 per year in 2004-2006. (Source: Epidemiology
Centre of the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare.) The reasons of the increase
of accidents are unknown. But one factor except failure of handles that might be
connected with the increase in accidents involving falls could be decrease in
stability of prams.
European standard EN 1888:2003 is intended to ensure that children's prams are
safe. After the accidents that occurred at the beginning of the 2000s, the standard
was complemented in 2005 by an addition specifying a harder test of the strength of
pram handles. Despite this, accidents have continued to occur. In 2006, the
Agency received a large number of complaints about accidents with prams where
reversible handles had failed. Some of the prams involved in these accidents had
met all the requirements of the European standard, which indicates that the
standard's requirements concerning the strength of handles need to be further
tightened up in order better to meet the conditions of real use.
Among European countries, Sweden suffers the most problems of pram handles
breaking off or handles locking mechanisms that releases. There are presumably
several reasons for this: one can be that adjustable handles are more common in
Sweden than in other countries, while another can be that the low outdoor
temperatures and dry indoor air during the winter can affect the properties of some
plastics. Most of the reported accidents have occurred towards the end of the
winter season. There are plastics that can withstand these conditions, but when (for
example) polyamide 6 dries out, the material becomes brittle and can break more
easily if subjected to loads.
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Purpose
The purpose of the market inspection has been to:
¾ draw the attention of the trade and consumers to the fact that accidents are
occurring due to the availability of prams with potentially defective handles
on the market:
¾ reduce the number of prams with potentially defective handles and thus
reduce the number of accidents due to falls from prams.
¾ obtain experience that can provide input for the work of revising the
standard for children's prams.
Aspects considered
¾ How many brands of prams are there on the Swedish market?
¾ How common are the functions of reversible or height-adjustable handles on
prams on the Swedish market?
¾ Do the prams on the market meet the requirements of the standard in respect
of the strength of the handles?
¾ Do the prams on the market meet the requirements of the proposed changes
to the standard in respect of the strength of the handles?
Definitions
Adjustable handle
As used in this report, an adjustable handle refers to both height-adjustable and
reversible handles.
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Height-adjustable handles
There are two common ways of adjusting the height of height-adjustable handles.
One is by means of a telescopic function (Figure 1), by which the handle is pulled
up in the same way as for a crutch, while the other uses a 'knee' arrangement for
folding part of the handle up or down (Figure 2).
Figure 1. A handle with telescopic function. This
Figure 2. A handle with folding
height adjustment.
arrangement has not been the subject of
Accidents have involved handles
any accident complaints.
that have broken at the hinged
joint.
Reversible handles
Reversible handles (Figure 3) can be released and moved over to the other side of
the pram, so that the child is facing in the other direction, i.e. travelling either
facing or with his/her back towards the person pushing the pram.
Figure 3. A pram with a reversible handle. In many cases, the securing arrangement holding the
handles has not been able to withstand upward forces, such as when pulling the pram up steps.
When this happens, the seat/carrier part immediately tips down towards the ground.
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IDB (previously EHLASS)
IDB is an injuries recording scheme run by the Epidemiology Centre of the
Swedish Board of Health and Welfare. Its name has recently been changed from
EHLASS to IDB (Injury Data Base). Data on injuries due to accidents is collected
by hospital emergency departments in 37 municipalities, thus covering about 7 %
of the country's population. The figures are then used to provide a corresponding
national estimate.
Method
The market survey
The inspection started with a survey of the presence of various brands of prams on
the Swedish market. Local authority consumer advisers in eleven municipalities
(see Appendix 2) went out to the shops and obtained information on different
brands and models. This included noting whether the prams had adjustable
handles, in order to get an idea of how great a proportion of prams have these
features today. This shop survey was complemented by a corresponding survey
carried out by the Agency of prams marketed over the internet or via newspaper
advertisements.
Purchasing
SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, in Borås, bought ten prams with
adjustable handles in shops in Borås and Gothenburg, after selection had been made
by the Swedish Consumer Agency. The prams covered a range of prices, and
included the commonest brands on the Swedish market, as well as a number of less
common brands.
Testing
As most of the complaints that the Agency has received have been concerned with
handles that have broken or come off, the testing was started with the handles'
strength. The tests were carried out at and by SP, which is accredited for such tests
in accordance with parts of the European standard EN 1888: 2003 + A1-A3: 2005.
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In addition to tests of the handles, SP also carried out an irregular surface test,
which is a fatigue test of the entire pram, and inspection of the prams' markings.
Some of the prams reported to the Swedish Consumer Agency because of accidents
had been tested and approved in accordance with the European standard for prams.
Therefore the perambulator handles were tested over and above the requirements of
the standard in order to obtain data for the work of revising the standard, which is at
present in progress. The Swedish Consumer Agency has submitted that the handle
tests should be revised, in order to produce a standard that better reflects real use.
The standard tests were as follows:
17.3
Irregular surface test
9.2
Handle-cyclic test
9.3
Dynamic resistance of the handle
21.1
Marking of product
The additional tests, which were carried out after the standard tests, consisted of
more cycles of the fatigue test of the handles, and a higher loading in the dynamic
resistance test. In addition, they included testing the reversible handles in such a
way as to reproduce some wear of the locking mechanism of the handle. The
present standard has no test of the locking mechanism of the handle, but does
include testing the locking mechanism of the chassis and brake.
The results
The survey
93 brands (see Appendix 3) and 407 models were reported from the survey, which
was carried out in May 2007. 60 % of the prams found had adjustable handles.
The commonest brands were Emmaljunga, Brio and Teutonia.
The tested prams
Ten prams identified in the survey were selected for testing, and were purchased by
SP from shops in Borås and Gothenburg. All had adjustable-height folding-type
handles, together with a reversible handle function (with the exception of the Brio
pram, which did not have a reversible handle).
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The prams were of pushchair type, that could be used from birth with the back rest
in a reclined position if the prams had a carry cot in them. If they have only the
seat unit, they are not suitable for children under six months.
Model:
Shop price:
Baby Travel Grizzly
SEK 2 995
Branford
SEK 699
Brio Duo Compact
SEK 4 616
Cango Nizza
SEK 3 995
Carena Freeride
SEK 1 995
Crescent Classic
SEK 5 495
Emmaljunga Cerox
SEK 4 795
Esprit Ontario
SEK 2 795
Kombi Classic
SEK 2 995
Teutonia Prestige Duo
SEK 7 385
The tested prams, at SP in Borås.
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Risk assessment
Risk assessment of the prams after the tests was performed by the Agency.
Test results
The table below shows the ways in which the tested prams failed to meet the
requirements. See also the test results against the standard, as described in SP's test
report (Appendix 4).
Pram
Test results
Risk assessment
Baby Travel Grizzly
21.1 Absence of warning
The lack of warning texts can
marks, reference/serial
present a risk to the safety of
number and marking showing the child.
EN 1888:2003.
Branford
Extended 9.2 Failure, as a
rivet securing the chassis
failed.
21.1 Non-compliance due to
incorrect CE-marking and
lack of warning marking,
reference/serial number,
identification of the
manufacturer and importer,
and indication of EN
1888:2003.
9.3 Failure, as a securing
rivet for the seat failed.
Brio Duo Compact
Cango Nizza
9.3 Failure, as the locking
mechanism of the handle
failed.
21.1 Absence of warning
marks and reference/serial
number.
Carena Freeride
No departures from the
standard.
Crescent Classic
21.1 Failure, due to lack of
warning marks.
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Slight risk of injury to the
child if the rivet securing the
chassis fails.
The lack of warning texts can
present a risk to the safety of
the child
No immediate risk of injury
to the child if the rivet in the
seat fails: the seat is
supported by textile
materials.
Serious risk of injury to the
child if the handle fails and
the pram tips over.
The lack of warning texts can
present a risk to the safety of
the child.
The lack of warning texts can
present a risk to the safety of
the child.
As extra safety catches
prevent the pram from tipping
over, there is only slight risk
of injury to the child.
The lack of the warning texts
can present a risk to the
safety of the child.
As extra safety catches
prevent the pram from tipping
over, there is only slight risk
of injury to the child.
The lack of warning texts can
present a risk to the safety of
the child.
The lack of warning texts can
present a risk to the safety of
the child.
Emmaljunga Cerox
9.3 Failure, as the locking
mechanism of the handle
failed.
21.1 Failure, due to lack of
warning marks and marking
indicating EN 1888:2003.
Esprit Ontario
9.3 Failure, as the locking
mechanism of the handle
failed
21.1 Absence of warning
marks and reference/serial
number.
Kombi Classic
21.1 Absence of warning
marks, reference/serial
number, indication of
manufacturer and importer,
and reference to EN
1888:2003.
9.3 Failure, as the handle was Serious risk of injury to the
child if the handle fails and
bent so that the automatic
locking mechanism failed to the pram tips over.
work after the test.
21.1 Absence of markings
indicating a reference/serial
number, and names of the
manufacturer and importer.
Teutonia Prestige Duo
Five prams failed to meet the requirements of the standard in respect of strength,
and were not tested any further. Those that were tested over and above the standard
were the Baby Travel Grizzly, Branford Barnvagn, Carena Freeride, Crescent
Classic and the Kombi Classic. Of them, the Branford failed the additional fatigue
test (test no. 9.2 ) as a rivet in the chassis failed. The other four prams passed the
tests for reversing the handle, the extended fatigue test (9.2) and the higher mass in
the dynamic resistance of the handle test (9.3).
Only two prams displayed all the markings required by the standard. The warning
texts that are required by the standard relate to not leaving a child in the pram
without being attended by an adult, and that the pram is not intended for use with
children below the age of six months. Both the standard and the Swedish Product
Safety Act also require a reference/serial number, and identification of the
manufacturer and importer/organisation responsible for sales.
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Analysis
The market survey shows that there is a wide range of prams available on the
Swedish market. Almost two-thirds of the pram models in the survey had
adjustable handles.
Half of the tested prams failed to meet the requirements of the standard in respect
of strength. Only two prams displayed all the markings required by the standard:
without the proper markings, there is a risk that the pram might be improperly used.
In price terms, four of the five prams that did best in the strength tests belonged to
the cheaper half of the ten prams in the tests. Of the more expensive prams, four
out of five of them had design faults.
The faults in prams that were tested could have been due to varying manufacturing
quality, or be occasional models that did not meet the requirements. But they could
also be due to poor design, in which case the Consumer Safety Act could be
invoked to recall the prams from buyers or from shops.
Continuation work
In the cases of the prams with design defects, the Agency has called for responses
from the companies concerned. The companies are offered the opportunity
voluntarily to take steps to prevent the risk of injury, and are required to report
implemented and/or planned measures to the Agency. In the cases of the prams
with inadequate marking, the Agency has pointed out the shortcomings and expects
that they will be reedited. A follow-up inspection of marking will be carried out
within six months.
The Agency is planning to concentrate on prams over the next few years, paying
particular attention to the weak points that can be presented by the handles. A
market surveillance inspection of prams is planned for 2009, testing several
important safety aspects such as stability, securing of the chassis and function of the
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brake. A follow-up test of this inspection is planned for within 2010, with
particular emphasis on handles.
Source list
Swedish Consumer Agency report no. 2006:5. Barnvagnar Marknadskontroll av
tio förstavagnar hösten 2003 [Children's prams - market surveillance inspectino of
ten first prams, autumn 2003], Stockholm.
Statistical data, Falls from prams, Epidemiology Centre, Swedish Board of Health
and Welfare, November 2007
Appendices
Appendix 1
A brief overview of the Product Safety Act, SFS (2004:451)
Appendix 2
List of participating municipalities in the market survey
Appendix 3
List of pram brands from the market survey
Appendix 4
Report from SP, Testing of Ten Children's Prams
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Appendix 1
A brief overview of the Product Safety Act
The Swedish Consumer Agency is the surveillance authority having jurisdiction in
accordance with the Product Safety Act (2004:451), referred to below as PSA. The
purpose of the Act is to prevent goods or services from causing injury to persons.
Under the terms of the Act, only safe goods or services may be provided by
commercial businesses.
A product or service is safe if, during normal and reasonably foreseeable use and
duration of life, it does not present any risks to human health and safety, or only a low
risk. According to the Act, a product that complies with a standard that is an
implementation of a European standard is deemed to be safe in respect of risks
covered by the standard. If a product departs from the requirements of a standard, this
can be a strong indication that it does not fulfill the safety requirements of the PSA.
A product that does not meet the safety requirements is, in the terminology of the
PSA, dangerous. If a business supplies a dangerous product, it leaves itself open to
action under the terms of the PSA.
If remedial measures of corrective actions are necessary, the Swedish Consumer
Agency is required to negotiate with the business concerned with the aim of making
the latter voluntarily apply any necessary corrective actions etc.
If voluntary actions are not taken, the Agency can forbid the business to supply a
product or service, to provide safety or warning information and/or to recall a product
of service. Such injunctions or orders shall be backed by penalties, unless there are
special reasons to indicate that penalties would be unnecessary. A business that either
deliberately or as a result of carelessness fails to do what is necessary in order to
ensure that products supplied by it are safe can be required to pay a sanction fee of not
less than SEK 15 000 and not more than SEK 5 million. (Sanction fees may not be
levied in connection with infringement of a ban or failure to comply with an
injunction supported by penalty.)
A business that has supplied a dangerous product or service shall without delay take
the necessary steps to prevent cases of damage or injury. In addition, the business
shall immediately notify the Swedish Consumer Agency. Manufacturers shall operate
a preventive product safety program with the aim of identifying risks of damage or
injury caused by the products that they provide or have provided.
The full text of the Product Safety Act, together with information setting out the
Appendix 1
obligations of businesses under it, is available on the Agency’s web site,
www.konsumentverket.se. The site also provides forms for notifying dangerous
goods or services: see under the tab “For companies” and then “Product safety”.
Appendix 2
List of participating municipalities in the market survey
•
Borås
•
Falköping
•
Gällivare
•
Gävle
•
Göteborg
•
Piteå
•
Skellefteå
•
Sundsvall
•
Södertälje
•
Uddevalla
•
Västerås
Appendix 3
Brands-pushchairs
Market survey 2007
A
C
E
I
N
S
ABC-design
Cango
Emmaljunga
Inglesina
Nordic Freeline
Segr
Akta Graco
Carena
Esprit
J
Nova
Sleipner
B
Casual play
Eurobaby
Jane
Novius 4
Stokke
Babyland
Chariot Carrier
F
K
O
T
Babymax
Chicco
First Friend
Kaps3
Ora
Take Off
Firstwheel
Knorr
P
Tako
G
Koelstra
Peg Perego
Tech rider S
Gesslein
Kronan
Phil & Ted´s
Tessa
Giro
L
Pireus
Teutonia
Graco
Little Eskimo
Prins- &
Prinsesskronan
TFK, Trend for Kids
H
M
Q
Hartan
Maclaren
U
Queenette
Hauck
Maxi Cosi Mura
Urban Jungle
Quinny
Hercules
Mikado
V, W, X
Hoco
Minime
R
X-adventure
Red Castle
X-lander
Roan
Y, Z
Baby Travel
Christiane Wegner
Barni Voyager
City Elite
Babyactive
Babystyle
Bebé Comfort
Bobbiway
City Voyager
Concord Fusion
Crescent
B.O.Z.Z.
D
Branford
Diamond
Brio
Disney baby
Britax-Rhömer
Bugaboo
BumbleBee
E
Easy Duo Walker
Easywalker
Mutsy
MODI
Rock Star Baby
Tututis Sonja
Ziko
Appendix 3
Barnvagnsmärken
Marknadsöversikt 2007
Något om att uppgifter kommer både från Konsumentvägledarnas kontroll i butik och vår egen från Internet och
tidningar.
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
Appendix 4
The Swedish Consumer Agency
Box 48
651 02 Karlstad
Sweden
Telefon: +46 (0)771-42 33 00
Website: www.konsumentverket.se
E-mail: [email protected]