HC Deb 26 October 1967 vol 751 cc1869-70
21. Mrs. Butler

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to ensure that there are no further accidents to babies due to the construction of Pedigree Hipper and Cosy perambulators, following his investigation of the death of a nine-month-old Beverley child in such a perambulator.

Mr. Ennals rose

Mrs. Butler

May I correct the printing of the Question in the last line? "Beverley child" should read "Beverley Neal".

Dr. Winstanley

Further to that point of order. Having been consulted about this Question, may I point out that the words "Pedigree Hipper" should read "Pedigree Nipper".

Mr. Ennals

I was most concerned to learn of this tragic accident. The manufacturers of the pram in question at once suspended deliveries and arranged for retailers to receive, free of charge, an additional locking device for fitting to any of the unmodified prams still in stock as well as to those brought in by customers. My Department has asked the British Standards Institution, which is about to begin work on a specification for folding prams, to ensure that adequate locking devices are prescribed.

Mrs. Butler

But is it not quite appalling that some manufacturers are able to ignore representations about the safety of essential baby equipment of this kind, because there have been only voluntary standards of safety covering prams? Would my hon. Friend ensure that when the British standard for prams is drawn up it covers those which were manufactured before the safety standard came in? I ask that because there has been another tragic case with regard to a carry-cot which arose because the standards were not retrospective.

Mr. Ennals

I give my hon. Friend the assurance for which she asks. I should like to comment on the other tragic event on which the Hammersmith coroner made comments. He criticised a carrycot stand which, because of its unsafe design, led to the death recently of a ten weeks old baby boy. I understand that the carry-cot was bought over two years ago and would not comply with the requirements of the Stands for Carry-cots (Safety) Regulations, 1966, which came into operation on 1st February this year. I would strongly urge all parents to ensure that any carry-cot stand in their possession has rigid stops at the sides and ends to prevent the carry-cot from slipping off.

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