With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for parents and parents-to-be.
As soon as you find out that you are going to become a parent, you are confronted with a new situation that requires not only mental readiness but also some basic equipment.
Twitter Hashtag #EUandME
You will need the means to transport the new family member (pushchair, car seat or baby carrier), a place for him or her to sleep safely (cot, barriers), clothes, nappies, and the list goes on. Although it is still early days, it might not be long before you start thinking about toys. Then after a few months, you might start buying ready-made baby food.
Every product on sale in the European Union has to comply with general safety rules. Particular rules apply to toys, electrical and electronic goods, cosmetics, chemicals and other specific product groups. European standards ensure the safety of toys, nursery products and furniture, child resistant products and protective devices, and playground and sports equipment for children. Children’s car seats have to comply with global rules.
Manufacturers declare that a product has been checked against all essential EU safety criteria by using the CE conformity mark, which is legally required for products sold in the European Union, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. The rapid alert system for non-food, dangerous products (RAPEX) facilitates the rapid exchange of information between 31 countries: consumers are then warned and the product taken off the shelves. RAPEX weekly reports provide information about dangerous products.
Food for infants and young children, meanwhile, must meet special strict EU requirements regarding nutritional composition and food safety.
- EPRS publication on the safety of toys, 2014, https://epthinktank.eu/2014/12/20/ensuring-europes-parents-can-rely-on-the-safety-of-toys
- European Commission’s website dedicated to RAPEX, https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/consumers_safety/safety_products/rapex/alerts/repository/content/pages/rapex/index_en.htm
- European Commission’s website on food for infants and young children, https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/special_groups_food/children_en
- EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service: www.epthinktank.eu