Cot Safety – Why is it important?
Cot safety is vital to ensuring the safety of a baby when it’s in use. It’s a big deal because when a cot that has been put together incorrectly collapses, a small baby could be seriously injured.
It is really important that any household rehomed by Olivia’s Place goes to a new family with:
- full instructions for safe assembly and use
- all necessary parts in good working order.
If you can't find the manual and documentation that you received when you purchased the cot we may have it on file (please check), OR you can either try to find it on the manufacturer's website, or you can call the manufacturer and ask them to email you a copy. They will ask you for some identifying information like the model, the date of manufacture and the country of manufacture. You will find this information printed on the centre base slat:
*Photo credit - St Kilda Mums Blog
If you cannot locate this information on the base slat of the cot, this is a good indication that your cot was manufactured before 2005 and will not meet current mandatory safety standards.
A cot that meets the mandatory safety standards will also have the recommended mattress size stamped on the base slat which helps us fit the correct mattress. We do re-home used mattresses, but only if they are in excellent condition with no marks, stains or smells and come from a smoke-free home.
We ask that you disassemble the cot prior to donating because it is very difficult to transport a cot fully assembled.
Once you have a copy of the manual, please disassemble the cot and check all the screws, bolts etc. against the list of parts in the manual. It is important that the manual and screws are secured in a good quality clear plastic bag and taped to the cot securely. The product manual will be essential for the new family to be able to assemble the cot correctly.
Children’s cots, especially those with movable parts like a drop side, need extra care and attention. The drop side of a cot will likely be used repeatedly, with some degree of force, over an extended period of time. Drop sides can become loose due to the length of use, the quality of the timber, hardware and fastenings used. Cots with drop-down sides were banned in 2012 in the United States, where they have been blamed for the death of at least 46 American children in the past decade.
Cots that are re-assembled and used again can become less safe as a result of missing or loose fittings or damaged components and materials. Please check your cot carefully, check that any plastic housings for the drop side pins have not perished or become brittle with time.
If there is a screw missing or a screw bent, it will have to be replaced before it can be re-homed. Olivia’s Place is able to contact many of the cot manufacturers in Australia, and can source replacement parts sometimes free of charge and sometimes at cost. It is helpful however if we can have the part ordered and on the way before you deliver the cot, to speed up the re-homing process.
The Mandatory Standard for cots requires that the cot complies with the Australian/New Zealand Safety Standard for cots: Standard AS/NZS 2172-2003. If your cot was bought overseas (anywhere but NZ) it will not have a sticker indicating that it complies with this local standard this and we will not be able to rehome it.
Supplying household cots that do not comply with the mandatory standard could make Olivia’s Place liable for heavy fines. For more details, view the ACCC Website. The risk of a fine is nothing compared to the risk to a child's safety. It is our policy to only pass on nursery gear that we would use for our own children.
We do have a list of brands we are able to accept, and list that we aren't able to accept, and a list of brands that we may need to contact the manufacturer prior to accepting the donation in the case of missing screws or manuals. PLEASE contact us regarding your cot donation before arriving with it.