Most parents believe that once their toddler is placed into a baby walker, s/he is free and safe to roam about. For babies, this product offers a certain amount of security for the baby and, to an extent, frees up the parent to focus on other activities without giving all their attention to the child. However, it is not that clear cut. A portion of the baby walkers found on the European market today do not properly support the child and therefore do not provide sufficient protection. This puts the child at risk.
Due to vast quantity of emergency data from the EU and the US, which has shown that unsafe baby walkers are the cause of thousands of accidents every year with children, and in line with the European standard EN 1273:2005 for baby walkers that has been adopted by the European Commission in January 2009, PROSAFE decided to initiate a Joint Action on Baby Walkers.
The main objective of the project was to ensure that baby walkers on the EU market are safe and carry the appropriate warnings and instructions. Furthermore, the project sought to consolidate and build on the success of the EMARS 2 project.
Twelve EU market surveillance authorities participated in the Joint Action coordinated by PROSAFE. The action tested no less than 36 different baby walker brands and models, in an effort to assess the level of compliance to requirements of EN 1273: stability (both dynamic as well as static), prevention from falling down steps, the strength of the baby walker, folding mechanisms, minimum seat height, as well as (if present) the parking devices. However, 17 baby walkers (47%) were noted to have failed one or more of these requirements.
The Final Implementation Report of this Joint Action is available and provides information about the activities undertaken, the participants involved, the results obtained and a financial statement comparing all expenditures against the budget. This project has been executed under the 2009 call for tender and the reporting requirements may differ from actions granted under the calls outlined in other years.