Safe nursery and change tables

Nursery furniture can become faulty and unsafe as a result of normal wear and tear. Always supervise a baby when using a change table.

What you need to know

It's a good idea to check nursery furniture and accessories regularly for damage or weakness. This is particularly important if you have second-hand nursery furniture.

Babies can fall from a change table by wriggling or rolling off.

What you need to do

  • Nursery furniture

    Check furniture in the nursery for:

    • missing or loose parts — holes and gaps can trap heads, fingers and toes
    • rough edges or splinters
    • torn fabric or small pieces of plastic and lumps of filling material can choke a small child
    • rust or corrosion of metal or splitting of timber
    • torn straps or broken buckles on child restraints
    • wear and tear on locking devices — nursery equipment can collapse and hurt a child if locking devices don't work
    • stability — could the furniture tip over if a child climbs on it?

    If in doubt, replace or repair the part, or don't use the item.

  • Making the environment safe

    • Make sure your child can't reach anything that is dangerous.
    • Secure any unstable equipment to the wall or floor.
    • Put safety barriers at the top and bottom of steps and stairs.

    Nursery furniture should be kept well away from:

    • windows
    • heaters
    • pictures on walls
    • ornaments on shelves
    • curtain and blind cords — these create a risk of strangulation
    • electrical cords — make sure these are out of reach.

    Safety barriers – baby gates, playpens and portacots

  • Change tables

    When choosing a change table look for:

    • safety straps to help keep your baby in place
    • raised sides to prevent your baby rolling from the table
    • smooth, rounded edges
    • strong material that is firmly attached to the frame
    • a strong stable frame so it will not collapse during use
    • drawers you can reach without leaving your child
    • locks that prevent an adjustable table from folding while the baby is lying on it.

    Gaps that may be unsafe

    • Gaps 30mm to 50mm wide can trap arms or legs
    • Gaps between 85mm to 95mm can trap a baby's head.

    Using a change table safely

    • Before you start, make sure you can reach everything you need without leaving your baby alone.
    • Keep nappy sacks and bags out of your baby's reach.
    • Use the restraining strap to prevent your baby falling from the table.
    • Never leave your baby on the table unattended.
    • If the change table includes a bath, lift the changing surface away completely so that it can't fall on your baby in the bath.

If you have a safety problem or concern

If you have some concerns about the safety of a product or if you’re injured by a product, you should tell the retailer or supplier about it.

You also have the right to ask for a remedy such as a refund, replacement or repair under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). One of the guarantees in the CGA is that products must be of acceptable quality and this includes that the product is safe.

Faulty products – Consumer Protection(external link)

In addition, it’s good to report the details to us – product safety reports from the public help government agencies to identify systemic issues and help us to prioritise and respond to issues.

Report an unsafe product