Approximately 500 toy samples are examined annually at the LSL. It has been found that the physical and mechanical properties of toys in particular can pose an acute risk to children's health. With the help of special actions, certain toys are tested in a targeted manner:
Focus action "Carnival costumes - azo dyes and flammability".
Focus action "Soap bubbles and finger paints".
|Number of samples tested||563||429||445||429||515||550||563|
| - of which not objected to in %||63,2 %||79,2 %||77,5 %||76,2 %||63,1 %||44,5 %||43,7 %|
| - of which objected to in %||36,8 %||21,8 %||22,5 %||23,8 %||36,9 %||55,5 %||56,3 %|
|grounds for complaint|
|safety deficiencies*||16,0 %||6,3%||13,0 %||14,2 %||21,9 %||13,3 %||22,7 %|
| - of which harmful to health||4,4 %||1,4 %||3,2 %||2,3 %||3,9 %||3,1 %||5,3 %|
| - thereof phthalates||4,3 %||0,5 %||2,0 %||4,7 %||6,2 %||3,5 %||6,6 %|
|Marking deficiencies**||30,5 %||18,2 %||16,6 %||17,5 %||28,0 %||26,9 %||25,9 %|
|Formal defects***||10,9 %||44,7 %||41,6 %|
*safety deficiencies, e.g. excessive noise in toys, excessive kinetic energy (e.g. in projectile toys), bacterial contamination (e.g. contaminated bubble solutions), technical deficiencies (e.g. detachable parts), etc.
**Toy ordinance, toy identification ordinance, LMIV, misleading
***EC Declaration of Conformity, Traceability
Since it is known that babies and toddlers like to put everything in their mouths, toys for children under the age of 3, for example, must not contain any small parts that can be swallowed and pose a suffocation risk. According to EN 71 (European Standard "Safety of Toys"), such toys and detachable parts of toys must not fit into a specially standardised small parts test cylinder based on a child's throat. Toys for children under the age of 3 must meet many other special requirements, all of which are routinely checked. Cords may only have a certain length so that small children cannot strangle themselves with them, the filling of cuddly toys must not have any parts that could present a risk of injury, cooling bite-rings must be sufficiently tight and firm so that they cannot be bitten on or through by the small ones, the toy must not contain any small balls or suction cups, which in turn could present a risk of suffocation, and much more.
Toys for children from the age of 3 must also meet many different requirements, depending of course on the respective toy category, in order to be considered safe. Toys for slightly older children may contain small parts, but must be accompanied by a clear and appropriate indication that the toy is not suitable for children under the age of three, together with a brief indication of the hazards giving rise to this restriction. In the case of projectile toys (e.g. toy pistols), it shall be examined whether the toy complies with the kinetic energy limits. If this energy is too high, there is a risk of injury. Thus it can go in the wahrsten sense of the word in´s eye if children shoot the small plastic balls one on the other while playing. In the case of bullet toys with suction cup arrows, it is particularly important to check that the suction cups are attached firmly enough, as easily detached suction cups pose a suffocation hazard.
Furthermore, the sound pressure level of acoustic toys - such as toy mobile phones - is checked, as toys that are too loud can cause hearing damage. Toys intended to carry the child's weight - such as toy bicycles and scooters - are tested for strength and construction. Among other things, these must be designed in such a way that children cannot squeeze their fingers between moving parts when playing. Compliance with requirements that apply generally, i.e. to all toys, is also monitored. This includes, for example, that toys must not have sharp edges or tips that could pose a risk of injury.
In addition to checking the physical and chemical properties, flammability tests are also carried out. For example, carnival costumes for children must either not be flammable or they may only burn so slowly that in an emergency, i.e. when the costume has caught fire, sufficient time is available to undress without the child being exposed to the risk of burns.
Consumers are informed in the media about such dangerous toys by appropriate product warnings. If toys pose a serious risk and other Member States may also be affected, a Europe-wide notification is made in the so-called RAPEX system (Rapid Exchange of Information System - the EU's rapid alert system for all dangerous consumer goods, with the exception of food, medicines and medical devices).
See Service Product Warnings.