Fun play is safe play. Producing safe toys is a complex matter that reputable toymakers take very seriously.
Safe by design, from material selection to final production
Reputable toymakers apply rigorous safety processes to their toys. They will design the toy with safety in mind, knowing where potential risks may arise. They will ensure that their production process is stable and has no influence on the safety aspects. They will choose their suppliers carefully and will test materials.
Once a toy prototype is ready, it will undergo several safety tests. These include use and abuse tests, a series of torque tests, tension tests, drop tests, impact tests, compression tests, tip over tests, seam strength tests, flammability tests, chemical tests and so on. Manufacturers assess their toys on a case by case basis and target the most appropriate tests to be able to demonstrate conformity to the strict regulations.
Once they have ensured that the toy meets all EU safety requirements, manufacturers draw up the declaration of conformity and add the CE marking to the toy.
EU toy safety rules are among the strictest in the world
The European Toy Safety Directive is one of the strictest toy safety legislations available. All toys that meet the requirements of the Directive are safe. The Directive is written in such a way as to make it easy to adapt to new scientific data, should they become available. Since its inception in 1989, it has undergone several changes and adaptations. The latest update of the Directive was proposed by the European Commission in 2023.
The Directive defines the essential safety requirements that toys must meet before being placed on the market. This includes considerations such as toy’s physical and mechanical properties, their potential for flammability, their electrical properties, the chemicals used in manufacture and construction and so on. Harmonised standards developed by EU standardisation bodies then detail the technological specifications needed to ensure that risks are avoided.
Compliance with other rules
Besides the Toy Safety Directive, toys must comply with requirements in other important pieces of legislation such as:
- the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)
- the REACH regulation on chemicals and their safe use
- the RoHS Directive on the use of certain hazardous substances
- in electrical and electronic equipment
- legislation on food contact materials where relevant
- the Cosmetic Products Regulation for toys that are or contain cosmetics
Did you know that a plastic fork for a doll has stricter rules than a plastic fork for a child?