Economy What precautions should be taken when choosing safe toys?

What precautions should be taken when choosing safe toys?

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IStock / City Presse

The lists of presents addressed to Santa Claus invariably include a string of toys chosen according to the trends of the moment. For parents, a race against time begins to find the latest fashionable doll, the new remote control car or even the most advanced construction game.

But before buying, some usual checks are necessary.

Attention danger !

According to the figures available, 1.2 million boxes of games, toys and sporting articles considered dangerous were seized by the French customs services in 2017. Often manufactured in Asian countries without a safety test, these products flood the French market, particularly during the holiday season.

By buying them, you run the risk that your child will choke on a part that does not withstand vigorous handling, that he becomes poisoned by drooling on a construction set containing toxic materials or that he burns himself on the stove. cause of a faulty battery box on an electrical gadget.

The CE logo, the first protection

In order to guarantee the safety of children, European legislation requires manufacturers to submit their products to very strict danger tests before any marketing. On the shelves, it is the CE marking which indicates to consumers that the toys comply with the regulations, and therefore without danger. The first reflex to have is therefore to check that this mention is indeed present on the box.

The French standard NF EN 71, also visible on the packaging, certifies that measures have been taken by the manufacturers to ensure the resistance of the object and avoid any risk of toxicity and flammability.
Note that other voluntary labels can emphasize responsible or ecological manufacturing.

Very useful warnings

A gift may respect the standards in force, it can represent a risk for its user if it is not suitable for his age. To guide consumers in their choice, the legislation therefore requires manufacturers to affix certain contraindications aimed at young children on the packaging.

As soon as the game contains small parts liable to cause suffocation or a risk of intoxication, a warning warning against the object for children under 3 years old must be visible. It can take the form of a pictogram representing a baby’s head with the mention 0-3 in a crossed out red circle or a handwritten inscription. The type of danger involved must also be specified (suffocation or strangely). Some magnetic or electric experiment sets may also carry a warning word for children under 8 years old. In fact, if they are swallowed, the magnets can cause asphyxiation or even a perforation if they stick through the intestines.

Vigilance at home

Despite all the checks at the time of purchase, you are never safe from an accident. Certain reflexes should then be followed:

  • Before using the toy: follow the instructions carefully to assemble the object correctly, then test its strength and make sure that the accessories do not come off.
  • When using the toy: it is necessary to accompany the child in the discovery of his gift. Show him how to use it and observe him as he uses it to spot any misuse and correct it if necessary.
  • Periodic control: the life of toys being tough, it will be necessary to regularly check their condition. Lint can be shaken to see if any hairs come off, eyes and nose pulled to test for strength and battery condition monitored to avoid burns if overheated.

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