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What to Check for When Buying Soft Toys

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 15 Mar 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Soft Toys Toy Checks Children's Toys Toy

As soon as most of us are born we seem to be presented with our very first soft toy, and it’s traditional for most children to be bought teddies and cuddly toys as they grow, too. Some people still collect them as adults!

Cuddly toys can come in all shapes and sizes – tiny to gigantic and some can even be many times the size of a baby.

What Types of Soft Toys are There?

Today children’s toys and soft toys come in just about any variation that you can think of - good old traditional teddy bears, developmental infant toys and even electronic singing, interactive animals.

Why Do Children Love Soft Toys?

Children seem to get some comfort from familiar things and from any soft toys that mean something to them. Some babies and children love their comforters while others seem to get attached to a particular object or soft toy and refuse to leave the house without it!

A baby on holiday for the first time might reach for a favourite, familiar soft toy to make him feel more secure, or an older child might seek comfort in a familiar and well loved soft toy when she starts nursery, or even school.

Toy Checks - What do Toy Safety Marks Mean?

  • The CE Mark – although it’s not a consumer mark, the CE logo on soft toys does prove that the toy has been tested for compliance with toy safety standards.
  • The Lion Mark – this is only displayed by a member of the British Toy and Hobby Association BTHA who has agreed to stick to the BTHA Code of Practice. This mark should indicate that the soft toys are safe and are good quality.
  • Not Suitable for Children under 36 months - This logo means that a children’s toy isn’t suitable for any child under three years old. You’ll find it on soft toys which have small parts that younger children could pull off and swallow.

Choosing and Buying a Soft Toy– Toy Checks Hints and Tips

  • >Toy safety is vital when choosing children’s toys. When you’re choosing and buying a soft toy, look out for the following:
  • Check that the toy safety label says that it’s suitable for your child’s age. If the toy safety label says that it’s not suitable for under threes, don’t ignore this and give it to a younger child, as it could be dangerous – the soft toy won’t have passed toy checks for choking hazards.
  • Make sure that the soft toy you’ve chosen is not too fluffy if your child is small, and that its eyes are not made from buttons.
  • Check the quality of the children's toys – a Lion Mark will indicate that the soft toy is not just safe but conforms to a certain level of quality expected of all toys carrying this mark.
  • Make sure there are no strings or ribbons that could accidentally harm a small child or baby.
  • Check to see that it has a safety mark – a CE Mark, Lion Mark or preferably both. If the toy doesn't pass the toy safety label test; don’t risk it, as there will be plenty that do.

Also...If you’re buying a soft toy for a baby, remember that very young babies and children love to play with children's toys that help them learn about their world - so when you’re deciding which soft toy to buy, also think about what developmental opportunities it has. Will it be something that comforts at bedtime and goes everywhere with the child...or something that will make them explore and enjoy the soft toy?

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[Add a Comment]
Vhon - Your Question:
Hi there when buying for an infant. there are different options to choose from and become confusing on what is the safest type. There are soft toys that have the hard eyes and cute nose's that are pushed through the materials and "capped" and some has beans "Beanies" in them, surely these are not suitable for new born babies due to hazardous pieces and could lead to choking!!surely the safest fluffy toys are the ones with soft sewn in eyes and nose's so that they can not come or pulled/chewed of, and the fillings are with a soft breathable NON hazardous filling and not beans!!If someone is selling the fluffy toys that they state are suitable from birth on wards and the material is that of what is stated in the first paragraph i.e. the beans and hard eyes and nose surely this is against safety regulations. this is not safe for the baby. babies suck and when teething chew on things, and these toy pieces at time can come of from the toy.look forward for your input on this mater.Kind RegardsVhon.

Our Response:
If you want to question the toy safety regulations themselves you need to address this with the legislative bodies. Here are the toy safety regulations in full
ToysAdvice - 16-Mar-16 @ 9:53 AM
hi there when buying for an infant.... there are different options to choose from and become confusing on what is the safest type. There are soft toys that have the hard eyes and cute nose's that are pushed through the materials and "capped" and some has beans "Beanies"in them, surely these are not suitable for new born babies due to hazardous pieces and could lead to choking!! surely the safest fluffy toys are the ones with soft sewn in eyes and nose's so that they can not come or pulled/chewed of, and the fillings are with a soft breathable NON hazardous filling and not beans!! If someone is selling the fluffy toys that they state are suitable from birth on wards and the material is that of what is stated in the first paragraph i.e. the beans and hard eyes and nose surely this is against safety regulations... this is not safe for the baby... babies suck and when teething chew on things, and these toy pieces at time can come of from the toy. look forward for your input on this mater. Kind Regards Vhon.
Vhon - 15-Mar-16 @ 2:26 AM
@syl. Take a look at our article on toy safety standards. There is a link in the comment to @little2015 that you should also find useful.
ToysAdvice - 26-Nov-14 @ 12:39 PM
As a children's toy knitter, I need to know what restrictions there are to sell my toys, as I have been approached by a local craft shop, who are interested inselling my produce on a commission basis. Your advice will be greatly appreciated by both parties Warm regards, Sylvia..
Syl. - 25-Nov-14 @ 5:49 PM
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