Simple checks can ensure your child’s safety

As children return to school in the coming weeks and parents tick off their back to school checklists, NSAI is urging parents to ensure their children’s school purchases are safe and fit for purpose by remembering some basic safety and quality tips.

“Parents of primary school aged children are now spending approximately €400 per child to prepare for the new school year.  This cost emphasises the need to check that the products you buy are of a high quality and adhere to standards, which will result in longer lasting school supplies and better value for parents,” said Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI.

Standards affect every aspect of daily life and some simple checks can help to ensure children are returning to safe learning environment this September. 

“Childcare providers and schools also have an important role to play in the development and safety of children.  NSAI would urge childcare providers and educators to put standards at the top of their homework sheet as simple checks can help to create a safe and enjoyable learning environment for children. ” continued Mr. Buckley.

To help parents and educators in (County) to prepare for their return to school in September, the NSAI has provided some top ‘Back to School’ tips:

  1. Cycling to school: Cycling to school is not only good for your child’s health but good for the environment also. If your child cycles to and from school, make sure they wear a high visibility vest to make sure motorists can see your child and a bicycle helmet that complies with the European Standard EN 1078. Check both items for the CE Mark, which shows that the products meet essential safety requirements set down in the European Personal Protective Equipment Directive.  If you are purchasing a bicycle for young children ensure that it complies with the International Standard EN ISO 8098.  
  2. Pick the right car seat: According to the Road Safety Authority, four out of five car seats are incorrectly fitted.  To ensure your children are travelling safely, parents should ensure that car seats for younger children comply with the European standard requirement (UN-ECE R44.04).  The label attached to the seat must contain three essential items: 
    • The letter ‘E’ contained in a circle followed by a number.  This number indicates the European approval authority which granted the child seat approval. 
    • The words ISOFIX along with its size class.  The words Universal, Semi-universal, restricted or vehicle specific maybe displayed.  The symbol Y is for a restraint with crotch strap and the symbol S is for a special needs restraint.
    • A mass range that does not exceed the weight of the child.  For example 0-13kg is suitable for a new born child. 
  3. Check goalposts on the sports field:  School jerseys will light up playing fields across Ireland when students return in September so it’s important that schools ensure their goalposts meet the Irish Standards I.S. 356 and I.S. 357.  These standards have robust codes of practice in place for sporting teams and bodies to adhere to across all sports, including soccer, rugby, GAA and Camogie.
  4. Check toys for a CE mark: Toys are an essential part of the learning curriculum for many junior schools.  Childcare providers and educators should ensure that the CE mark is displayed on all toys in the classroom.  Some toys may also display the standard mark for toys, EN 71, highlighting that the toy meets the essential safety requirements of the European Toy Safety Directive.  This allows parents and guardians to be safe in the knowledge that the toy is flame retardant and that the design, construction and materials used in its composition are safe for children.
  5. Window blind safety: Childcare providers in crèches, playschools and schools should check that window blinds are in compliance with EN 13120 ‘Internal blinds – Performance requirements including safety’.  This standard specifies the requirements for the construction, installation, operation and maintenance of internal window blinds.  The NSAI recommends that all childcare providers and parents make use of a series of tips on www.nsai.ie to ensure window blinds in your premises are safe for young children.


NSAI invites members of the business community and the general public to get involved in the development of standards by visiting Your Standards, Your Say



For media queries please contact:
Eoin McCabe, NSAI Communications & PR | Email: info@nsai.ie