There are new Safety Standards for children’s toys: What do you need to know?
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has updated the mandatory standard for toys designed for children up to and including 36 months of age.
The standard applies to various toys, including rattles, toy dummies, teethers, push and pull toys, bath toys, dolls, games, and more, designed for young children.
Some items are excluded from this standard, including balloons, marbles, and certain materials like playdough. Toys made entirely from highly porous materials are exempt, except for those with pompoms.
In the piece below, The Sector has summarised the key points which are relevant to those in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector.
- Increased safety measures: The updated standard focuses on enhancing the safety of toys by reducing the risk of small parts detaching during play or after reasonable wear and tear. This significantly lowers the chances of choking, suffocation, or other serious accidents.
- Battery-operated toys: Toys containing batteries must have a secure battery compartment accessible only with a tool to prevent potential harm to children under 36 months. All batteries are a choking hazard, and button (or coin) batteries in particular can be incredibly dangerous if ingested.
- Transitional period: Suppliers have until 4 March, 2025, to transition to the new standard. During this period, they can choose to comply with the previous standard or the updated one. Manufacturers can comply with the standard by adhering to specific international, European, or American standards related to mechanical and physical properties.
As well as adhering to the standards, ECEC services should remain aware of any product recalls related to children’s toys. Recent recalls include wooden rattles and baby spoons. A list of recalled items appears here.
The full announcement with additional detail is available at the ACCC website.