The safety of a child is an emotive subject, which is particularly close to the heart of every parent. When purchasing products for a child, product safety is an essential issue. Loose components, sharp edges, finger traps, the presence of toxic substances and materials which are too flammable can all result in serious harm to the child and severe consequences for the suppliers of any product deemed to be unsafe.
Toys that are sold within the European Union are required to bear the CE mark. This is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product meets the European Toy Safety Directive (2009/ 48/EC), and has undergone a variety of product tests to ensure that it is safe for use.
EN 71 is the European Standard for Toy Safety Testing. All the toys sold on the EU market need to comply with EN71 testing standards.
EN 71 is broken down into Parts (Parts 1-11). Common test requests come from Parts 1-3.
The purpose of this standard is to reduce risks associated with children’s toys. Specific tests are performed on toys based upon the type of toy it is and/or characteristics of the toy. Additionally, appropriate warning labels are addressed in this standard.
This portion determines the flammability of toys. It provides general requirements along with specific requirements for particular toys, which appear to be the most hazardous, this includes: toys to be worn on head (beards, moustaches, wigs, etc.), toy disguise costumes & intended to be worn by children in play, toys intended to be entered by a child, and soft filled toys.
This part involves determining the migration of the following elements: Antimony, Barium, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Mercury, and Selenium from accessible parts of toys. This applies to the following toy materials: coatings/paints/varnishes/lacquers/printing inks/similar material, polymeric and similar materials, paper and paper board, textiles, glass/ceramic/ metallic materials, other materials whether mass colored or not, materials intended to leave a trace, (i.e. pencils or liquid pens) and pliable modeling materials.