The Baby Products Association (BPA) has been lobbying government regarding the latest lockdown rules; in particular, the definition of what does and does not qualify as an ‘essential’ retailer.
The UK’s trade association for the nursery industry – the Baby Products Association – has raised serious safety concerns following the announcement of the essential store guidance during the UK’s third Covid lockdown.
The latest government measures state that stores selling pet products are allowed to remain open, while nursery retailers providing essential baby equipment are not.
It is always recommended that child car seats (a legal requirement from birth), should be purchased from bricks and mortar retailers who can advise on the type and model of seat and fitting which best suits the family’s needs, bearing in mind the child’s age and size as well as the make of vehicle.
A recent report by the Department for Transport showed that 2,692 children were killed or seriously injured in car collisions in 2019, while – when checked by professionals – almost 80% of child car seats were either unfit for use or incorrectly installed.
While child car seats are a major concern it is also clear that parents need help and support in choosing other essential items such as cots, sleep and safety equipment to ensure the health and wellbeing of their child.
“A child car seat is only effective in protecting children when fitted correctly in a vehicle,” says Robert Anslow, managing director of the BPA. “It is a legal requirement for a new baby to be transported in a car seat from the very day it leaves hospital – and yet parents with no knowledge or experience of which products are best for their vehicle and how it should be fitted correctly are being left alone to make what could potentially be a life-threatening decision.”
“As a trade association, we cannot understand how the government can place the importance of purchasing pet products over and above the safety of babies and young children. Since the onset of the first Covid lockdown in spring 2020 we have been lobbying the relevant government departments responsible. We have also been in contact with Trading Standards and Thames Valley Police and will continue to report on our progress.”
In the meantime, a government petition to change the rules for essential nursery stores to open has recently been raised by Megan Elliott of Bababoom.
The BPA team has signed this and encourages anyone concerned with child safety during lockdown to follow suit.