ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has just published a new, improved guide to help standards writers address childhood injury prevention and control in new or revised standards.
The document provides guidance for writers of International Standards on how to assess children’s interaction with products or surroundings in order to develop standards with a view to minimizing possible injury to children. The new edition has been updated to place more emphasis on hazards as the sources of injury present in products and the environment and gives an account of the developmental characteristics of children which places them at a greater risk of injury than the rest of the population.
ISO/IEC Guide 50, Safety Aspects – Guidelines for child safety, 29 pages, price 104 Swiss francs, is available from ISO national member institutes and from ISO Central Secretariat. The guide was developed in partnership with the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), with input from ISO’s Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO).
Childhood and adolescent injuries are a major source of death and disability in many countries. According to the European Child Safety Alliance, approximately 100 children die every week due to an injury in the European Union alone.
“Many injuries are preventable,” said Dr. Dirk van Aken, convenor of the Joint ISO/IEC technical advisory group for child safety. “The development of safer cars and child resistant packaging for household chemicals, for example, has shown that safety standards can play an important role in prevention. For this reason, if the safety principles of this Guide are taken into account, it is expected that many injuries to children could be avoided or at least reduced in severity.”
ISO/IEC Guide 50 provides standards writers with a framework to address the potential sources of unintentional hazards and hazards to which children might be exposed during their use of, or interaction with, a product, service or system.
“This Guide will help standards writers to consider the relevant child safety aspects of the products, processes, or services that children use or with which they may come into contact. But it will be the customers who will ultimately benefit from the high level of safety taken into account in standards under development,” further noted Dr. van Aken. “By buying products which have been designed in accordance with the recommendations of ISO/IEC Guide, customers can be confident that the products in their environment do not present unacceptable safety risks to children.”
The Guide is primarily intended for those involved in the preparation and revision of standards, technical specifications and guides. It can also be used by product designers, architects, manufacturers, service providers, communicators and policy makers as a way to minimize possible injury to children