Wondering if your infant and child products are safe? Not sure which tests are necessary and which labels to use on toy packaging? The experts at J.S. Hamilton will dispel your doubts!
On 22-24 February 2023, J.S. Hamilton Experts participated in the 13th KIDS’ TIME International Fair for Toys and Maternal and Child Articles. Participation in the event enabled us not only to gain new business partners, but above all to have interesting as well as inspiring discussions, during which we learned about the most common concerns of manufacturers and distributors of baby and children’s products.
Due to the numerous product classifications and the range of standards or directives in force, it is not easy to reliably determine the range of potential risks and requirements for a given product and adapt them to the age of the child. However, such action is necessary to minimise the risk posed by the toy and to prevent the possibility of a product recall.
HOW TO LABEL A PRODUCT CORRECTLY AND WHY CAN’T A PRODUCT JUST BE 3+?
Very often, in order to ensure the safety of a product, we seemingly try to protect the consumer from danger. The toy standards and their accompanying documents make it clear at what stage of a child’s development we can incorporate appropriate products into play because of their motor skills. When analysing products, a teddy bear or a simple book with thick pages will always be intended for children under the age of three, and incorrect labelling can expose the customer to scrutiny by market surveillance authorities.
WHY CAN’T WARNINGS BE USED IN PRODUCTS INTENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS OF AGE?
Analogous to the age classification, incorrect warnings mislead the consumer. It is unacceptable to include the statement ‘small elements may give off’, as the information must be unambiguous – small elements are present, or they are not. Depending on whether the product is intended for children under or over 3 years of age, we verify during testing that the product meets the requirements by subjecting it to the appropriate tests and verifying that the small parts release. As a rule, there cannot be such elements in products for consumers under 3 years of age, so only non-normative age designations such as 2+ or 18m.+ should be used. If, in a product intended for children under the age of three, a small part becomes detached, the product does not comply with EN 71-1.
IS IT NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT TESTS?
Yes, testing is a safeguard of the quality of your products and a confirmation of their safety. Of course, the scope of the study can be representative, determined on an individual basis, to which you are warmly invited. It is worth emphasising that the tests are a confirmation of the safety of your products.
As an accredited testing laboratory, one of our specialities is toy safety testing, including mechanical and chemical analyses. In accordance with our accreditation number AB 079, our range of services includes comprehensive consultancy and safety testing of toys as well as children’s and infant articles.
If you have any questions or concerns, J.S. Hamilton experts remain at your disposal.