At Indigo Jamm the safety of our toys is our utmost priority. Our toys are tested by independent laboratories to meet both European (EN71) and American (ASTM) standards. We also carry out our own in-house testing of our toys to ensure the standards are maintained throughout their production. We are happy to supply copies of our test certificates to interested parties.
Toy Safety in Europe
All toys that are placed for sale in the European market must comply to the European Toy Safety Directive in addition to the General Product Safety Directive.
So what sort of tests are carried out to ensure our toys meet the required safety standards and so can carry the CE mark?
Without going into to much technical detail toy testing falls into the following areas:
Mechanical & Physical (EN71-1)
These tests are designed to ensure the mechanical & physical properties of the product are safe for the intended age range. They examine things like, sharp points, edges, protruding parts and small part requirements, making sure that for example for toys under the age of three there are no small parts present or a small part is released during testing. The tests include a drop test, a torque test, a tension test, impact test a sharp point and edge test.
This part of the tests is to reduce the risk of burn injuries making sure that the toy does not ignite to easily or burn to quickly.
This looks at all the substances that are used in the making of the toy (materials, paints, glues, solvents to name a few) and to make sure that the chemical levels found in the toy are so low they are non-exsistant or if they are detected they are below the legal prescribed levels.
If you are interested in finding out more about the regulations that apply to the production of toys in the UK the BTHA
or the Guidance
document from the UK government are good places to start.
In house Testing - Mechanical & Physical
Before our toys leave the factory they are subject to stringent tests to ensure they exceed the required legal requirements. During every production run we randomly select samples to test and we thought it may be of interest to see a few of the tests we perform. The following looks at a production run Bernie's number Bus.
This is one of the samples selected.
So firstly it is checked that everything is all okay straight from the box for normal play.
The gap between the wheel and the body is checked to make sure fingers can't be trapped.
We then start some abuse tests the first being the soaking test.
For this test we soak the sample for a minimum of four minutes excess water is then removed and it is left to dry for ten minutes this is repeated 4 times. It is checked to see if any small parts are released after each soaking/drying. This aims to simulate what would happen if a child was to place the toy in the mouth and become wet with saliva.
So after it has been dried for the last time its time to carry out some more abuse tests.
So we basically we try to pull or twist bits off of the toy.
And then the drop test where the sample is dropped five times from
85 cm onto a hard surface.
After each drop the sample is checked to see if any small parts are released, or sharp edges or sharp points now exist. A small part is defined as a part that will fit into a specially designed "choking tester cup" which looks like this:
We regularly check samples of our products in this way to ensure we continue to meet toy safety standards.
It is important to note that whilst testing is very important it can never replace the role of a child's parent or guardian in regularly checking the toy regularly to ensure that it continues to be safe and suitable for a child to play with.
Caring for Wooden Toys
Our toys can be gently cleaned with a natural nonabrasive soap and a little water dampening a cloth. Once cleaned, moisture should be removed with a dry cloth and the toy should be allowed to air dry naturally before re-use. Soaking in water is not recommended as this may cause the wood to swell and distort.
Avoid leaving toys outside as the sun will cause paint to fade and rain can cause the wood to swell and distort.
It is natural for paint to fade through time and wooden toys tend to take on a pleasing used look as they are played with over many months and years. It is important that toys are regularly checked throughout their natural life to ensure they remain safe for play.