As a parent and toy store owner, I am around toys all the time. I often ask myself, is this toy safe, is it age appropriate, and of course will children enjoy it? After all, Toys are one of the most important parts of childhood. 

However, toys can also pose safety risks if they are not designed, manufactured, and labeled correctly. In the United States, there are strict standards for toy safety that are enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In this post, we'll offer a brief explanation of the US standards for toy safety and what they mean for parents and gift givers.

Let's begin with ASTM F963. ASTMF963 is the standard specification for toy safety in the United States. This standard covers a wide range of safety issues, including small parts, sharp edges, and flammability. Toys that meet the ASTM F963 standard have been tested by an independent laboratory to ensure that they meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) safety requirements.

The CPSC has issued a number of regulations to address specific safety issues related to toys. For example, there are regulations for lead content, phthalates, and magnetic toys. Toys that meet these regulations have been tested by an independent laboratory to ensure that they comply with the CPSC's requirements.

You'll also frequently see toys labels as 3+ and baby toys labeled as 0+. This is because toys that are intended for children under the age of three are subject to additional safety requirements, including labeling. These toys must be labeled with age-appropriate warnings and must not contain small parts that can be swallowed.

Toys that are subject to certain CPSC regulations, including those related to lead content and phthalates, must be tested by a third-party laboratory and certified as meeting the applicable standards. The third-party certification mark must be visible on the toy or its packaging.

By purchasing toys that meet the ASTM F963 standard, comply with CPSC regulations, and are age-appropriate, parents and caregivers can help ensure that children are safe while playing with toys. It's also important to inspect toys regularly for damage or wear and to follow any instructions or warnings provided by the manufacturer.

The US has strict standards for toy safety that help protect children from potential hazards associated with toys. By looking for toys that meet these standards and by following safety guidelines, parents and caregivers can ensure that children have a safe and enjoyable playtime experience.

March 27, 2023 — Barbara Chernyukhin