Age ratings

Not suitable for children under 3 years old.

Not suitable for children under 8 years old

In most instances, the numbers will indicate the age of the child warning in years.

Beware of the small parts!

Age ratings are normally accompanied by a hazard. One of the most common hazards on children's toy products are small parts, which present a choking hazard. 

From well documented research, we know little children have a tendency to place objects in their mouth as part of their discovery process about the new big wide world.

 

The accompanying text in this instance would be the symbol followed by 'CHOKING HAZARD - contains small parts'.

In some instances, the warning will have the accompanying text 'WARNING: Not suitable for children under 3 years old - contains small parts.'

Age warning symbol

Watch out for those soft, cuddly and comforting toys!

Beloved by children of all ages, specially newborn babies, and a popular gift choice from friends and relatives, soft toys in particular can turn into deadly disasters if they're not rigorously tested to ensure they meet the standards.

The risks include loose eyes, noses and buttons. In addition, some toys are made of highly flammable materials and, even though they're cheaper than their genuine counterparts, they're not usually made to last.

Most of these products do not undergo rigorous safety tests, which also means that it is impossible to predict how they'll react under certain circumstances. Because they're not tested, you should always assume that these soft toys were made of the cheapest and probably unsafe materials manufacturers could find.

Furthermore, if something does go wrong with your purchase, there's very little you can do, as these cheap, ‘copy cat’ soft toys usually don't come with the manufacturer's information.

Buy from trusted manufacturers

 

Remember: Low prices come with low-quality items and, while you may be saving money in the short term, at the end of the day, the cost of replacing these knock-off toys can quickly build up.

On the other hand, any toys that fail the tests will not be safety marked, so you can rest assured that, if you're buying from a reputable manufacturer, you won't be caught off guard.

Need some guidance on whether or not to buy a particular toy for a child? Look for your product's age rating!

Manufacturers have to ensure their products and services are age-appropriate before they hit the shelves. In addition, all age-ratings and labelling you'll discover in you products must be appropriate and consistent between manufacturers and distributors.

 

Two of the most common symbol warnings you will discover are: