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Toy Safety Standards in the UK

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 7 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Toy Safety Safety Standards Toys Uk Toy

All toys supplied in the UK must meet a list of essential safety requirements which are set out in the Toy (Safety) Regulations 2011 (previously the Toy Safety Regulations 1995 - updated in 2010 - and now revoked) and to prove that these requirements are met, all toys should also carry a CE Marking.

What is the Purpose of a CE Mark?

The purpose of a CE marking is not actually to certify to you that a toy is safe to buy, it’s predominantly there for the authorities who regulate toy safety in the UK, and it’s designed to show them that the toy is intended to be sold within the European Community and that it conforms to a list of essential safety requirements.

Having said that, if there is no CE Mark then you are better off not buying the toy, because you won’t know whether the toy has been made according to EU toy safety regulations without it.

British Toy Safety Standards – and EN71

There are seven British Standards which apply to toy safety standards, in addition to a separate standard which covers the electrical safety of toys.

Toy regulations in the UK are governed by a Europe-wide toy safety standard EN71 which governs the safety all toys sold in the UK and within the European Union. These toy safety standards have been in place since 1990, and were updated in 1995.

EN71 covers the safety standards for all toys for children up to the age of 14 - products that are not intended as toys but look like toys (e.g those made for decorative purposes) are still included under the directive. It also divides toy suitability into age ranges and warnings for toys that are unsuitable for children under three. The legislation is in six parts and covers aspects of safety that include flammability, toxicity and safety marking.

If any toy is found to be unsafe according to the regulations, then the producer can be found guilty of a criminal offence. The producer can claim that in principle all reasonable steps were taken to ensure the toy’s safety to avoid prosecution, fines or even imprisonment, but the toy gets no such reprieve and will be withdrawn from sale across the EU straight away. All member states are automatically notified that there is an unsafe toy, and the toy is recalled.

What Types of Toy are Excluded from Toy Safety Legislation?

Some types of novelty can be excluded from UK toy laws – and these are:

  • fashion jewellery for children
  • Christmas decorations
  • sports equipment.

Although these exclusions can make the toy safety situation look more complicated, it doesn’t make a great deal of difference because even though they are not classified as toys, they must still comply with all the other UK consumer safety legislation, namely the Consumer Protection Act 1987.There is also an EU wide General Product Safety Directive which provides safety standards for physical and mechanical properties.

  • flammability
  • chemical properties
  • electrical properties
  • hygiene
  • radioactivity.

What Should I do if I think a Toy is Unsafe?

If you have bought a toy for your child which has caused an injury, or if you have reason to believe that it might even be in breach of the toy safety regulations it’s a very serious matter. You should contact your local Trading Standards office straight away so that they can take the toy and carry out tests, and if necessary arrange for the toy to be recalled.

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[Add a Comment]
avril - Your Question:
I am wanting to buy soft toy stuffing that complies to safety standards. Which standard applies to soft toys and what marks should I look for. Thank you.

Our Response:
It's all in the article above please read it (CE labelling and EN71 standards etc)
ToysAdvice - 8-Jun-18 @ 3:25 PM
I am wanting to buy soft toy stuffing that complies to safety standards.Which standard applies to soft toys and what marks should I look for. Thank you.
avril - 7-Jun-18 @ 2:25 PM
TJ1302 - Your Question:
Hi I'm wanting to make children's furniture, bookshelves, play house and 3D puzzles, all using cardboard corrugated - would this be 'safe' to use or would it be an issue Re fire safety etc.

Our Response:
You would need to check safety standards (available at most libraries) - we can't give individual advice on products.
ToysAdvice - 5-Jun-18 @ 3:42 PM
Hi I'm wanting to make children's furniture, bookshelves, play house and 3D puzzles, all using cardboard corrugated - would this be 'safe' to use or would it be an issue Re fire safety etc.
TJ1302 - 4-Jun-18 @ 9:53 PM
Are 20cm foam balls classified as a toy or as sports equipment.
Ja - 1-Jun-18 @ 10:15 AM
To order tots from China and resell do I rely on the manufacturer to meet the safety standards or do I buy a sample to test with the easing standards before ordering bulk
Buks - 30-May-18 @ 10:48 PM
pete - Your Question:
I have been given a large, beautifully home-made rocking horse to pass on to a Charity shop (or similar) by a relative. I am worried by the size and weight (6kg (or 1stone)) of it and its potential to crush the feet of children awaiting their turn on it. Has this ever occurred and is there a recommended weight restriction?

Our Response:
We can't give answers about specific products unfortunately. The Charity Shop or other retailer may want to be sure it conforms to British Safety Standards which can be found online or via details on the British Toy and Hobby Association
ToysAdvice - 30-May-18 @ 3:24 PM
I have been given a large, beautifully home-made rocking horse to pass on to a Charity shop (or similar) by a relative. I am worried by the size and weight (6kg (or 1stone)) of it and its potential to crush the feet of children awaiting their turn on it. Has this ever occurred and is there a recommended weight restriction?
pete - 26-May-18 @ 6:05 PM
wjtw - Your Question:
Can you tell me if Slime should carry the CE mark? Much of that available on Amazon appears not to have it.

Our Response:
Yes a toy sold in the EU should haves a CE label - the definition of a toy is any "product designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under 14 years old." Complain to Amazon.
ToysAdvice - 15-May-18 @ 1:00 PM
Kacey- Your Question:
My 11 year old daughter wants to make slime and sell it online, what legally does she need to do? Ie testing, labelling, ingredients etc

Our Response:
The toy safety standards as detailed in the above article, can be viewed at libraries or order online. These give details of the all the standards (and relevant testing methods) that you need to follow.
ToysAdvice - 14-May-18 @ 12:38 PM
My 11 year old daughter wants to make slime and sell it online, what legally does she need to do? Ie testing, labelling, ingredients etc
Kacey - 13-May-18 @ 5:46 PM
Can you tell me if Slime should carry the CE mark? Much of that available on Amazon appears not to have it..
wjtw - 11-May-18 @ 7:26 PM
Hi. I was interested in buying and selling a mobile cradle music player for babies, from China, in the UK. What do I need to make sure I look at, regulations wise, before making buying anything?
Sam - 1-May-18 @ 2:09 PM
If we make keyrings to sell for children do they need to be tested or are there any rules and regulations please
Lulu - 27-Apr-18 @ 4:33 PM
I have started making some Christmas/party crackers. I have already got some not suitable for under 3 stickers.I realise that they are obviously flammable.What else would I have to consider?I have to say that it took weeks to get in touch with trading standards and they were less than helpful, so any advice would be very gratefully received.Thank you.
Helen - 25-Apr-18 @ 9:34 PM
Hi there. We are looking at making hand sewn and embroidered pillows for children. The pillows would include a pocket on the front into which we would place a book.We wanted to make about a dozen or so of these and donate them to our local children's hospital.Would we need any certification for these, are they classed as toys?Please can you advise as we do not want to make these and then find they cannot be given.Many thanks
Michelle - 21-Apr-18 @ 1:59 PM
KF - Your Question:
Hi, I am making some wool felt bears, that will be filled with stuffing that meets safety standards. I would like to give the bears some weight. in prototypes I have used dry lentil/beans, and have considered plastic pellets though would rather not use plastic. Would I need a not suitable for children under 3 years on them?many thanks

Our Response:
You will need to check the toy safety requirements (EN71) to establish this. They can be viewed at any library etc.
ToysAdvice - 20-Apr-18 @ 2:43 PM
Hi, I am making some wool felt bears, that will be filled with stuffing that meets safety standards. I would like to give the bears some weight.. in prototypes I have used dry lentil/beans, and have considered plastic pellets though would rather not use plastic. Would I need a not suitable for children under 3 years on them? many thanks
KF - 18-Apr-18 @ 12:27 PM
Are educational tools classed as a toy? I want to sell drawing stencil sets with coloured pencils, pens etc..I have read elsewhere that it’s not classed as a toy but I want a second opinion . thank you in advance!
Cal - 4-Apr-18 @ 11:58 AM
Hi I’m looking at making painted wooden slides for children aged 1.5-4 years would this class as sports equipment?
Emmy123 - 22-Mar-18 @ 7:04 AM
Hi I would like to know if i buy a CE marked toy and add a Heat Vinly transfer name to a material part (an ear) do I need to get the soft toy re tested?If i do do you know where i can get this done,many thank
Claire - 21-Mar-18 @ 5:24 PM
Phil - Your Question:
Hi, in terms of providing a child friendly area to a retail premises, what do I need to consider? Is there any guidance that I can use as a benchmark? I am talking about an area in a store that smaller children can 'play' whilst on the premises. I am conscious that children (depending upon their age' will put things in their mouths, etc so is there any guidance on cleaning, etc that I may need to follow? Should the area in question be a specific size and only have 'toys' that meet EN standards?Any help would be appreciated.

Our Response:
RoSPA might be a good place to start looking. Your local council will also be able to advise.
ToysAdvice - 20-Mar-18 @ 3:07 PM
Hi, in terms of providing a child friendly area to a retail premises, what do I need to consider? Is there any guidance that I can use as a benchmark? I am talking about an area in a store that smaller children can 'play' whilst on the premises. I am conscious that children (depending upon their age' will put things in their mouths, etc so is there any guidance on cleaning, etc that I may need to follow? Should the area in question be a specific size and only have 'toys' that meet EN standards? Any help would be appreciated.
Phil - 19-Mar-18 @ 11:21 AM
I would like to make baby/ children’s head bands which standards would these have to comply with?
Vicky2507 - 15-Mar-18 @ 6:14 PM
I would like to do slime making workshops and sell it also using: liquid starch, pva glue, water, fragrance oil, children's paints and crafts/cosmetic glitter& foam beads. Does this come under toys and if so what would i need for this as it has chemicals?
kimmy - 14-Mar-18 @ 11:41 AM
ann07cor - Your Question:
I am knitting some dolls as a hobby using ordinary wool, no buttons or safety eyes, just using wool and stuffing them with a filler that shows the CE symbol. I would like to know if I am able to sell them Thank you

Our Response:
Are they for children? If so and you sell, them commercially they will need to be tested to EN71 standards.
ToysAdvice - 2-Mar-18 @ 3:01 PM
I am knitting some dolls as a hobby using ordinary wool, no buttons or safety eyes, just using wool and stuffing them with a filler that shows the CE symbol. I would like to know if I am able to sell them Thank you
ann07cor - 28-Feb-18 @ 6:21 PM
I bought a finger monkey toy from a shop and on the packaging says it has 40+ realistic monkey sounds and reacts to touch and sound.When I opened it all it does is sing "oh ah walla walla bing bang!" and its head lights up red - not quite Monkey sounds! - A Del Boy moment!The store will only offer me a credit note and not a refund. I would hate others children to be disappointed when buying this product.
nokesy - 22-Feb-18 @ 12:50 PM
SEB - Your Question:
I want to make and sell dolls clothes and accessories (e.g. bedding for dolls prams). I buy all my fabrics from reputable, generally high street, retailers, mostly 100% cotton. Seams are well finished and fastenings securely sewn on either by hand or machine. Are the fabrics, trims and threads already compliant with regulations given that they are being sold for home sewing? If I make the same style of outfit in, say, 6 different prints, do I need to test each one? Just the fabric or the whole outfit? However as I tend to make only a few in one particular print I couldn't afford to actually sacrifice a whole outfit to a flammability test for instance. Any advice gratefully received

Our Response:
Usually you will only have to test one example if all the products are the same design but just use a different fabric (assuming it's all the same type of fabric eg. 100% cotton). You can find also the information about BS EN71 in your local library.
ToysAdvice - 16-Feb-18 @ 2:21 PM
I want to make and sell dolls clothes and accessories (e.g. bedding for dolls prams).I buy all my fabrics from reputable, generally high street, retailers, mostly 100% cotton.Seams are well finished and fastenings securely sewn on either by hand or machine. Are the fabrics, trims and threads already compliant with regulations given that they are being sold for home sewing? If I make the same style of outfit in, say, 6 different prints, do I need to test each one?Just the fabric or the whole outfit?However as I tend to make only a few in one particular print I couldn't afford to actually sacrifice a whole outfit to a flammability test for instance.Any advice gratefully received
SEB - 14-Feb-18 @ 4:44 PM
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Latest Comments
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: What is This Toy Safety Mark?
    superfitch - Your Question:How do you go about getting a CE mark on a bath toy that is made in China and been safety tested in…
    19 June 2018
  • superfitch
    Re: What is This Toy Safety Mark?
    How do you go about getting a CE mark on a bath toy that is made in China and been safety tested in China?
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  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    avril - Your Question:I am wanting to buy soft toy stuffing that complies to safety standards. Which standard applies to soft…
    8 June 2018
  • avril
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    I am wanting to buy soft toy stuffing that complies to safety standards. Which standard applies to soft toys and what marks…
    7 June 2018
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    TJ1302 - Your Question:Hi I'm wanting to make children's furniture, bookshelves, play house and 3D puzzles, all using cardboard…
    5 June 2018
  • TJ1302
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    Hi I'm wanting to make children's furniture, bookshelves, play house and 3D puzzles, all using cardboard corrugated - would this…
    4 June 2018
  • Buks
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    To order tots from China and resell do I rely on the manufacturer to meet the safety standards or do I buy a sample to test with…
    30 May 2018
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    pete - Your Question:I have been given a large, beautifully home-made rocking horse to pass on to a Charity shop (or similar) by…
    30 May 2018
  • pete
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    I have been given a large, beautifully home-made rocking horse to pass on to a Charity shop (or similar) by a relative. I am…
    26 May 2018
  • ToysAdvice
    Re: Toy Safety Standards in the UK
    wjtw - Your Question:Can you tell me if Slime should carry the CE mark? Much of that available on Amazon appears not to have…
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