Baby walker standard
The Product Safety Standards (Baby Walkers) Amendment Regulations 2005
Purpose of the standard
Baby walkers allow a child greater mobility, and faster access to other objects and situations in their environment than they would normally have.
Other people share that environment (adults and other siblings), and it's not always possible to completely remove all other hazards or to focus undivided attention on one child.
The baby walker itself therefore needs to be designed so as to minimise the risk of injury that extra mobility may invite. These risks include children falling down steps or stairs or tipping over.
Parents and caregivers need to supervise children in baby walkers at all times.
Baby walkers must comply with specific sections of the American Standard ASTM F977-03 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Walkers under the Product Safety Standards (Baby Walkers) Regulations 2001 and the 2005 amendment.
The standard sets out requirements that address the stability of the walker, its structural integrity, performance over steps and the provision of safety warnings. It applies to both new and second-hand baby walkers.
Note: Only the version of the standard that's specifically cited in the Regulations applies — revisions after the date the law is made don't form part of the requirements. The cited standard remains available, so check to make sure you have the correct version.
Purchasing the standard
You can purchase ASTM F977-03 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Walkers from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM).
Who enforces the regulations
The Commerce Commission enforces the regulations in-market, and has prepared guidance material to help traders understand and comply with the requirements.
The New Zealand Customs Service enforces the regulations at the border — under the Fair Trading Act and the Customs and Excise Act. They may request documentary evidence of compliance and/or inspect goods before they're permitted to enter New Zealand. Non-compliant goods are deemed prohibited imports under the Fair Trading Act.