Toy safety guidance
All toys supplied in the UK must meet the requirements of the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011, bear the CE marking and the name and address of the person who first placed the toy on the market.
The CE marking is not a safety or quality mark aimed at consumers. Its purpose is to indicate to enforcement authorities that the toys bearing it are intended for sale in the EC and signifies a declaration by the manufacturer or his authorised representative that the toys satisfy the essential safety requirements applicable to them and are entitled to access to Community markets.
What is a toy?
A toy is defined as:
"Any product or material designed or clearly intended for use in play by children of less than 14 years of age".
All toys must be safe by law. Special care must be taken when buying toys. It is recommended that toys are purchased from reputable retailers and online traders. Ensure toys purchased bear the following information:
- CE marking indicates that the toy is intended for sale in the EU. The CE marking is NOT a claim of quality or safety as generally understood by consumers
- The manufacturers or importers name and address
- Any relevant warnings / precautions to ensure the safe use of the toy. Instructions and warnings may be on the toys or their packaging
- Whether toys require adult supervision or should only be used by children over a certain age
- The requirement for protective clothing or equipment when using skates, skateboards, etc.
Instructions and warning information accompanying toys should be retained for future reference.
The 'Lion Mark'
The voluntary British Toy and Hobby Association 'Lion Mark' is often seen on toy packaging. All association members' toys will comply with the legal safety rules.
Second hand toys
Take extra care when buying toys from car boot and jumble sales. Second hand toys need to be thoroughly checked before purchase for:
- Moving parts that might trap little fingers
- Loose hair, small parts, sharp edges and points, small parts, cords, projectiles, plastic bags and batteries
- Splinters in wooden toys
- Attached strings or cords which could be a strangulation hazard for young children
- Consider whether the toy is sturdy enough to bear a child’s weight
- Whether child requires adult supervision or if the toy should only be used by children over a certain age
Instructions and warnings may be on the toys or their packaging. You should retain this information.
Child protection advice
- A safe toy can become dangerous if it's in the hands of a young child. Always read the label and follow the manufacturer’s advice
- Remember young children can choke on toys with small parts, on marbles, even balloons
- Always supervise young children when they play with older children’s toys
- Nasty accidents are caused by people falling over toys left lying around, so encourage children to tidy away their toys
- Check toys regularly for wear and repair or dispose of them where necessary