Child Safety Information and Resources 2019 0-49-54


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It is illegal for retailers to sell caps, cracker snaps, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throwdowns to anyone who is under 16 and to sell all other fireworks to anyone who is under 18 - it is recommended that proof of age is sought.

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By definition, good design will lead to safe design. While meeting your legal obligations is the minimum required, it is a good idea to go further and take best practice on board throughout the design, production, supply and disposal stages.

The EU-wide Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (Regulation 1272/2008) otherwise known as the CLP Regulation governs the classification, labelling and packaging of hazardous chemicals. Chemicals, either substances or mixtures must be classified, labelled and packaged in-line with this Regulation before they are placed on the market. Suppliers must:

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All cosmetic products supplied in the UK, whether for consumer or professional use, must comply with European Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009, which came into force on 11 July 2013. It also requires safety assessments on the products, as listed in Annex I.

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When a product (eg a toy, childcare article or household appliance) is found to be dangerous, the competent national authority takes appropriate action to eliminate the risk. It can withdraw the product from the market, recall it, or issue warnings. The National Contact Point then informs the European Commission (Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection) about the product, the risks it poses to consumers and the measures taken by the authority to prevent risks and accidents.

The National Contact Points in each EU country ensure that the authorities responsible check whether the newly notified dangerous product is present on the market. If so, the authorities take measures to eliminate the risk, either by requiring that the product be withdrawn from the market, by recalling it from consumers or by issuing warnings.

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If you supply consumer products which aren’t covered by these specific directives, they must not be CE marked. However, you still have a general duty to ensure they are safe for normal or reasonably foreseeable use under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

You should take positive action to monitor the safety of your products. You should also make sure you are covered by product liability insurance if you manufacture or repair products, and possibly if you sell them, too.

The European Commission disseminates the information that it receives to the National Contact Points of all other EU countries. It publishes weekly overviews of dangerous products and the measures taken to eliminate the risks on the internet.

If you want to sell fireworks to the public, you need to register your shop or obtain a licence from your local authority. The penalties for not registering or being licensed are a fine of up to £5,000, a prison sentence of up to 3 months, or both.

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The regulations define a toy as ‘any product designed or intended, whether or not exclusively, for use in play by children of less than 14 years of age, but excluding those products specified in Schedule 3 [of the regulations]’.


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