Cot mobiles fall into one of those tricky grey areas, they are obviously a strangulation risk if the cords are too long, yet are aimed at babies. When it comes to the regulations it mostly comes down to the intention of the maker, and has a bit of a crossover even with intention. The regulations do not have particularly clear instructions, but thankfully BTHA are a little clearer, and this blog has been written according to their guide you can find here:
This information is based on a simple cot mobile design, to be hung from ceiling above, not a clip to cot style which would also carry extra warnings. (see BTHA link for more info)
1. Is the mobile to be touched by the child?
For example, if the toys were to be removable, or it is to be in reach of a child
If this is the case, it falls into the toy category and needs the CE testing, which can be quite tricky (though not impossible) cord lengths need to be within regulations(22cm), and all parts of the mobile would need to be tested.
Is the mobile for decoration only?
If the intention is that its not to be touched and is for decoration, and hangs above the top rail of the cot, it doesn’t fall under toy standards so therefore should comply to General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC) it will still need a warning if it is a strangulation hazard(see below)
Are the mobiles featuring items to be touched/hung below a cot rail?
ie not the mobile itself but the attached toys dangling to be batted at. If that is the case it falls into a strange area where its half in and half out of the regulations. It comes under general product safety regs which state:
‘A product is considered safe if it meets specific national requirements or EU standards. If no such requirements or standards exist, the safety assessment must be based on:
- Commission guidelines,
- best practice in the sector concerned,
- state of the art and technology,
- reasonable consumer safety expectations.’
So on that, BTHA recommends that it complies to EN71 anyway(!) with the additional tests that the toys intended for touch need to be tested for to the toy testing regulations, as well as being weight tested with 9kg (to simulate a baby grabbing down) The attached toys should be tested for en71-1 before and after the 9kg test. So in this instance the cords rules will also apply.
The part out of the child’s reach(ie the upper part) is also needs to be tested to the EN71(toy) regulations as its the best regulation to test it to, however the shape and size of certain toys does not apply to those parts, as its not likely to be a choke risk when its hung out of reach.
If your mobile is child appealing(note: it probably is as standard), and possibly would be hung above a cot, even if its classed as a decoration you should consider warnings applied to it.
All toys that are meant to be hung above a cot or pram even if they are intended to be out of reach, with cords longer than 220mm (22cm) need to carry this warning:
‘Warning: To prevent possible injury by entanglement, remove this toy from cot when the child starts trying to get up on its hands and knees in a crawling position’
You may also like to include ‘keep out of child’s reach’ for a mobile not intended to be touched.
If you can make sense of that, the easiest way to go ahead and sell your mobiles is with the appropriate warning and designed to be out of reach of children, and for once we’re not really going to try and convince you otherwise 😉 Make sure you apply the correct warnings and any instructions for the mobile.
However if you are passionate that you want babies to be able to play with your mobile it will always be worth it to go through testing.
Please remember we’re not trading standards or a lab and its down to you to research alongside the information here to be sure that you’re compliant with the regulations!
happy mobile making!