Child Safety at IKEA
At IKEA, the safety of our customers comes first. This is especially relevant for the most important people on the planet – children! Therefore, product safety is a top priority for us. We believe that every child has the right to a safe home environment.
At IKEA we aim to have a world-class level of knowledge on children, their development, and needs. In building knowledge we increase our confidence in creating and producing products that are both fun and safe.
It is important for us to know how our customers experience and use the products and solutions for children in the home. We have many systems in place for gathering customer feedback on quality and safety. For us, both the perceived risks and the actual risks are important. We want our customers to feel safe as well as to be safe. From our customers around the world, we also learn about how cultural differences affect the way products are used and experienced.
Occasionally, we involve the children themselves in our product development. We invite them to supervised workshops where they get to play with and use our products. Getting input directly from our most critical customers is very inspiring and generates many useful insights.
To review our own work and to gather knowledge, we test the products ourselves before they are released for sales. After all – all of us are IKEA customers! Furthermore, we organise events we call Quality Evaluation Days.
During these days, all the co-workers at Children’s IKEA pick out various products from different areas. They are then assembled and evaluated from a customer’s perspective. In-depth feedback is presented to the product development team responsible for the specific product. Based on this feedback, an action plan is created to resolve any issues.
To acquire information on upcoming legal requirements, we participate in standards committees for children’s products. Here, we have the opportunity not only to gather data, but also to share our knowledge. In this way we can contribute to creating new relevant standards for children’s products.
In some areas, we need in-depth scientific facts and statistics. In those cases, we are happy to receive support from external test laboratories and evaluation agencies.
Everything we learn about children’s development and needs, the requirements on children’s products, and health and safety, is consolidated into our own training: Children’s School. This way we gain confidence in creating products for children in the home, from beginning to end.
Children’s School is about children’s needs in the home and how those needs are met by the IKEA product range, in a way that is both safe and fun. It is also a way to share what we have learned from our mistakes, and remind us that we can always improve.
With Children’s School we ensure that the information is disseminated to everyone who works with Children’s IKEA products, from product developers to suppliers and co-workers on the sales floor.
Safety is one of the cornerstones of children's product development. To keep safety in focus through every stage of development, we have formalised a risk assessment process we call “Design for Safety” – an important and crucial part of how a product is developed. Starting already in the sketch phase, and following through the prototype and final production stages, a group of experts identifies and evaluates potential safety risks for the product. Based on this evaluation, we take action to eliminate any safety risk. When needed, we create our own test methods for certain product types, to ensure good quality.
Our products are designed and tested to comply with all applicable safety regulations in the countries where the products are sold. In the case of many of our children’s products, we go above and beyond the legal requirements. For example, we have phased out any chemicals that are suspected of causing medical reactions or being harmful. Colorants that have been identified as carcinogenic are banned from use in our products. This is because we know that children are often more sensitive to chemicals than adults.
We test all our children’s products at our own accredited test laboratory in Sweden, as well as at independent accredited test laboratories and institutes around the world. All our products are subjected to regular testing throughout their lifetimes, to ensure that they live up to our demanding standards regarding quality and safety.