Age Guides Explained
We’re often asked about toy safety and age recommendations of our toys, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help you recognise the safety marks and age guides you’ll find on toy packaging.
All of our toys carry the BS EN 71 mark. This means they’ve been thoroughly tested and have met all of the criteria needed to be sold in the UK. A huge range of things are tested, and it will vary depending on the type of toy, but it includes tests such as:
- Fire safety
- Testing for any dangerous substances and solvents used in production
- Ensuring toys have no parts that could pose a risk, such as sharp edges, or parts which could trap or choke a child
When buying toys for younger children, the most important thing to look out for is this symbol:
This indicates that the toy isn’t suitable for a child under 36 months, and will normally be followed by a reason such as ‘contains small parts’. It’s important this warning is followed, as giving these items to a child under 3 years of age poses a danger to your child.
The next thing to look at is the recommended age guide. Rather than being a safety warning, this is simply a guide to show the age the toy is recommended for. For example, a toy may have an age recommendation of 4 years +, but also carries the ‘not for children under 36 months’ warning. This means that the product is safe for a child aged 3 years +, but the activity would be more suited to a child over 4 years of age. When looking at these age guides, always keep in mind that every child is different, so don’t be put off if the recommended age guide doesn’t perfectly match the child you’re buying for.
If you have any concerns over toy safety or recommended age guides, please don’t hesitate to ask us. The most important thing to remember is to look for the ‘not suitable for under 36 months’ guide and always make sure you’ve followed any instruction or guidelines provided with the toy and your child is appropriately supervised.
You can find more detailed information at the British Toy and Hobby Association website by clicking here
- Amanda Griffiths