Keeping our children safe is our number one priority as parents, and part of that is ensuring that the products we buy for them meet minimum standards and are safe for everyday use.
Manufacturers, importers and retailers are required to ensure that the product they are selling meets the minimum standards required for the country the product is sold in. This also applies to certain types of children’s clothing and this is covered by its own Consumer Standard.
When buying toys, it is important to ensure that the toy you are buying is safe and will not put your child at risk. If unsure ask questions of the retailer or person you are buying from. This includes things like does it have small parts, toxicity of paints and finishes, sharp edges etc. If in doubt, ASK!
It is mandatory under the Product Safety Standards (Toys) Regulations 2005 for toys intended for use by children up to the age of 36 months, which are supplied in New Zealand, to comply with specific parts of the Standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002 Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties. It is illegal to supply a toy that does not comply with this standard and the regulations.
What toys are covered by the regulations?
The regulations apply to all toys manufactured, designed, labelled or marketed for use by children up to and including 36 months of age. This applies whether or not the toys are also manufactured, designed, labelled or marketed for use by children over that age.
This is not a complete list, but these types of toys are likely to come under the regulations:
A particular problem has occurred with the use of magnetic objects falling into the hands of children and toddlers. Magnets can cause disastrous consequences if swallowed and steps are being taken in New Zealand to see certain types of magnets banned from sale. Exercise great care when purchasing any product that contains magnets, whether it be a toy, artwork or office product. Keep them out of reach of children.
For more information on toy standards and safety you can visit the following sites: