Keeping kids safe

A new International Guide from IEC and ISO

By Janice Blondeau

We all want kids to be safe, yet more than 830 000 children die needlessly each year from injuries and accidents that could have been prevented. A new International Guide from the IEC and ISO is here to help.

Girl using internet to watch
Guide 50 addresses child safety everywhere, providing guidance to standards developers

Hidden dangers

According to the World report on child injury prevention(1), from WHO and UNICEF, every day more than 2000 children and teenagers die from an injury which could have been prevented. Some of the key causes of fatal injuries to children are road accidents, falls, electrocution, burns and drownings. Children’s toys and other children’s products are also obvious potential sources of risk, and there are many other hidden dangers in products or situations they encounter.

Building in safety from the start

The newly-revised ISO/IEC Guide 50:2014, Safety aspects -- Guidelines for child safety in standards and other specifications addresses child safety everywhere, providing guidance to standards developers by describing an extensive list of hazards children might encounter and proposing strategies to avoid them. However Guide 50 is not just for standards developers – government agencies, manufacturers and consumer associations will also find it useful.

Greater focus on prevention

The Guide recognizes that preventing injuries is a shared responsibility. The challenge is to develop products, including manufactured articles, their packaging, processes, structures, installations, services, and built environments which minimize the potential for causing deaths or serious injuries to children.

Guide 50 addresses child safety everywhere, providing guidance to standards developers by describing an extensive list of hazards children might encounter and proposing strategies to avoid them.

Taking children into account

A significant aspect of this challenge is to balance safety with the need of children to explore a stimulating environment and learn. Injury prevention can be addressed through design, engineering, manufacturing controls, legislation, education and raising awareness.

ISO/IEC Guide 50 describes specific characteristics of children that make them more vulnerable to hazards, taking into account children’s different development stages and the ways they interact with devices, products and environments.

This Guide was prepared by a Joint Working Group of ACOS (IEC Advisory Committee on Safety) and ISO COPOLCO (Committee on Consumer Policy).

ISO/IEC Guide 50:2014 is available from the IEC Webstore here.

 

(1) Joint WHO/UNICEF World Report on Child Injury Prevention

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baby safety https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jZK5cni3mU
safety small ...and there are many other hidden dangers in products or situations they encounter
Girl using internet to watch Guide 50 addresses child safety everywhere, providing guidance to standards developers