Every year at Christmas, children can't wait to unwrap their toys under the Christmas tree. However, making a well-considered and careful selection of these gifts is paramount to ensure that children can enjoy safe play with their toys for a long time to come. According to TÜV SÜD's Safety Gauge 2016, a study on product safety, 82% of the consumers surveyed are worried about toy safety; this makes children's toys the number one product category for consumers' safety concerns. However, a few simple features allow consumers to check the safety of the toys they have chosen before making a purchase.
Labelling & costs
Beware if labels do not include a full address for the manufacturer or importer. If the origins of a product cannot be traced, take a closer look. TÜV SÜD's Safety Gauge 2016 study, for example, shows that German companies are the most committed to product safety compared to companies in China, USA and India. Another indicator of quality, next to a toy's origins, is the price. Rock-bottom prices are frequently at the expense of safety and reliability. The quality/price ratio should be reasonable.
Cleaning & rubbing
Once the expectant children have unwrapped their presents, parents should thoroughly read the instructions before handing the toy to their children. Take special care to observe manufacturers' warnings. Washable toys should be cleaned before use. Allow rag dolls and other soft toys to dry out thoroughly, to prevent mould spores from forming. Generally, parents should check their children's toys regularly for issues such as: Have any small parts worked loose? Does the colour rub off? Are any liquids leaking out? Adults who give toys to children should pay special attention to the toys' long-term condition and quality.
Quality labels & odours
Odours often betray low-quality products. Toys with an intense chemical or scented smell may include hazardous chemicals. Labels such as the TÜV SÜD Toy Mark, especially developed for toys, and the GS mark (Tested for Safety) in Germany give guidance. Products identified by these quality marks were thoroughly tested for safety by third-party testing laboratories and are in compliance with legal requirements. Online purchasers should also make sure that the products they buy have the right types of certificates.
Further information on product safety is available here: www.tuv-sud.com/ps.
Note for editorial staff: The high-resolution photo is available for download from www.tuv-sud.com/pressphotos (Section: "Media Photos") or directly here.
Caption: TÜV SÜD experts test the flammability of soft toys. The flame may only spread at defined speed.
TÜV SÜD Safety Gauge 2016 is a representative study on product safety. It was carried out in four markets worldwide: China, India, USA and Germany. Over 7,000 consumers and 600 company representatives were surveyed over the phone and asked for their opinions and attitudes on various subjects related to the product safety of toys, electronic products, wearables and food as well as textiles, leather products and shoes.
Press-contact: Heidi Atzler