Building block toys are usually cubic wood or plastic solid toys, generally decorated with letters or pictures on the surface, which can be arranged and combined in different ways to build a variety of shapes. At present, the common building block toys on the market mainly include wooden blocks, plastic blocks, magnetic block blocks and snowflake blocks.
In recent years, everyone pays more and more attention to children’s intellectual development, building block toys have become one of the most popular educational toys, it has a wide range of types, a variety of play, can promote children to give full play to imagination and creativity, help exercise logical reasoning ability, concentration and hands-on ability, effectively promote brain development, deeply loved by children and parents.
So are building block toys safe? What harm would there be? Are there corresponding safety regulations for building block toys in domestic and foreign markets? How do enterprises carry out product quality control? How should consumers choose? Let’s take a brief look.
Referring to the recall and random inspection of building block toys at home and abroad in recent years, there were a total of 25 calls in the EU market from 2011 to April 12, 2021
Back to the case, where
There were 19 recalled products from China, accounting for 76%; According to data from the Market Supervision Administration in various parts of China, from 2016 to February 2021, a total of 53 batches of building block toys were found to be unqualified. Based on the many recall cases, we found that the safety issues mainly involve:
Mechanical and physical properties, toy identification and instructions for use, and chemical properties, etc
Mechanical and physical properties
Small parts, sharp tips, magnetic flux
Plastic bags or plastic films used in packaging or toys
The project is not qualified.
Toys appear during play
Small parts fall off
It can cause children to choke and suffocate due to accidental ingestion
of serious hazards.
Toys and their removable parts intended for use by children under 36 months of age, parts that come off after normal use and foreseeable reasonable abuse testing, should not fit completely into the small parts tester. Small wooden knots on wooden toys that can be easily pulled out or pushed out are also considered small removable parts.
For toys or their removable parts intended for children aged 36 months and above but less than 72 months of age, if they can fully fit into the small parts tester, they are small parts, and warning instructions should be provided to warn of small parts, and children under 36 months should not be allowed to play.
Small building blocks (Chinese and foreign toy network profile picture)
Sharp tip accessible
If present in the toy
, when children play
It will be scratched or stabbed
According to national toy safety standards
Toys intended for use by children under 96 months of age should not have sharp tips within reach. In addition, there should be no wooden thorns on the accessible surfaces and edges of the wooden part of the toy.
The national toy safety standard GB 6675 requires toys with magnets and magnetic components
The magnetic flux index should be less than 50 kG
It does not fit completely into the small parts tester
Small parts with strong magnetism are considered dangerous magnets because they are small in size and have a high risk of choking when swallowed by children.
If a child swallows two or more small part magnets, these magnets may cause serious injuries such as gastric perforation and intestinal infarction due to strong magnetic adsorption in the digestive system
Among the EU recall cases, there were 5 cases of magnetic block toys being recalled because they contained small parts with excessive magnetic flux; At the same time, there have also been many accidents of intestinal perforation or intestinal obstruction caused by swallowing magnets, including at least one fatal accident.
In order to avoid these risks, the national toy safety standard GB 6675 stipulates, in addition to the electricity applicable to children aged 8 and above
In addition to magnetic experimental toys, dangerous magnets are prohibited in general children’s toys. whereas
For the powerful magnets used in electromagnetic experimental toys to observe electromagnetic phenomena for children aged 8 and above, the product packaging and instructions should be marked with corresponding warnings
, remind the guardian to note the risk of this type of magnet is not suitable for children under 8 years old to play, the magnet parts will attract through the intestinal wall after swallowing and cause serious injury, if accidentally swallowed magnet parts need to seek medical attention immediately.
Plastic film thickness
Plastic film can adhere to a child’s nose and mouth, making it impossible to breathe, but if
Film thickness greater than or equal to 0.038 mm
, it is considered less dangerous.
According to the requirements of the national toy safety standard GB 6675, used for unlined soft plastic films or soft plastic bags in toys,
If its minimum dimensions are greater than 100 mm
, the requirement is to meet either of the two requirements: one is it
The average thickness is greater than or equal to 0.038 mm
The thickness of each measurement should not be less than 0.032 mm
； The second is to should
There are well-demarcated holes
, and on any area up to 30 mm x 30 mm,
At least 1% of the total area of the hole
Toy label identification and instructions for use
Label identification is an important part of toy products, and missing or irregular label content may lead to misoperation or avoid possible dangers. Since the user of the toy is a child, this can pose a serious safety risk.
Toys that may pose a danger to children under 36 months of age should be accompanied by warnings, such as:
“Warning: Not suitable for children under 36 months”
“Warning: Not suitable for children under 3 years of age”
Use the icon below instead of the Age Warning Statement
Example of an icon for an age warning
Similar warning words should be marked on the packaging and instruction manual of the magnetic/electrical performance test device toy intended for use by children aged 8 and above
“Warning! This product contains a small magnet and is not suitable for children under 8 years old”
。 If the magnet is swallowed, it will attract through the intestinal wall and cause serious injury, so if the magnet is swallowed, seek medical attention immediately. ”
The chemical properties are mainly
Phthalates exceed the standard
, the proportion of unqualified phthalate cases of building block toys in domestic sampling accounted for 26%; In the European Union, there have been 127 recalls of toys due to excessive phthalates in the past year, 93% of which are produced in China.
So what exactly are phthalates? Phthalates, a common class of plasticizers, can make otherwise hard plastics soft, improve their plasticity; This is currently the most widely used, the best performance, and a relatively cheap class of plasticizers. But it
Carcinogenic, teratogenic and reproductive toxicity
, may affect the secretion of hormones in the fetus and infants, cause hormonal imbalance, lead to precocious puberty in children, affect the reproductive system, and cause other health problems. If this substance accumulates in the body for a long time, it may also cause liver and kidney damage, and even cause cancer.
Building block minifigures (Chinese and foreign toy network profile picture)
Annex XVII of the EU Reach (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) regulation has set limits on some phthalates, requiring that the total content of DBP, BBP, DEHP and DIBP in the plasticized material shall not exceed 0.1% for plastic building block toys, and the total content of DINOP, DNOP and DIDP in the plasticized material that can be put in the mouth shall not exceed 0.1%. This is also regulated in the National Toy Safety Standard GB 6675 and the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act CPSIA, as detailed in Table 1.
SGS recommends that enterprises should use materials with qualified quality for production in the production process, strengthen the control of raw materials, and recommend avoiding the use of recycled materials and PVC materials as much as possible.
Table 1 Comparison of phthalate requirements for toys in the Chinese, European and American markets
SGS advises consumers
Purchase through formal channels
Qualified products, pay attention to the product label before purchasing
Suitable age groups
, choose products that are suitable for your child’s age, at the same time
to see whether there is a certificate of conformity, whether there are corresponding implementation standards and other information;
Check to see if there are any stinging corners, burrs
, avoid scratching or stabbing children while playing; In giving to children
Be careful to remove packaging materials such as plastic film and plastic bags before playing
。 In addition, parents should pay attention to cultivating children’s safety awareness, and remind children not to put toys and small parts on toys in their mouths to avoid swallowing; For younger children, parents should try their best
Play with you
In addition, SGS recommends that enterprises should use safe and non-toxic raw materials in the production of building block toys, maintain a good production environment and standardized personnel operation management, ensure compliance with hygiene and cleaning requirements, be familiar with the requirements of domestic and foreign laws and regulations, and keep abreast of market trends, timely control product quality to meet the relevant regulatory requirements of the country of sale and early warning to avoid the risk of recall.
Source: SGS light industry product service
Written by Cecilia Li/Ray Lin
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