Mechanical Hazards in Toys – A question of Durability
Like said before, it is important that the toy does not have parts that might be broken. There could be sharp parts or detached small places that could pose to be hazardious to your child. Liquids might be released that could contain dangerous microbes that might harm your child.
To make sure that you purchase toys that might not be broken easily, perform the drop test where you can drop the toy four times, each time the toy must be in a different position, onto a tile-covered concrete floor from varying heights, depending on the age of the child that the toy is meant for.
Yet another test that might be carried out is the push/pull test where a force of 44.5 Newton should be gradually applied over a five-second period and must be maintained for 10 seconds. The procedure must be carried on any part of the toy that might be detached by application of force.
It is important however, to remember that when the child actually plays with the toys, other hazards might be revealed. For instance, the Leap Frog’s learn Around Playground was a toy that was recalled in 2006, since no one anticipated that the curious kids would get their arms trapped into the toy, after being enthralled by the mysteriously disappearing balls into the toy.
Puncture hazards in sharp toys
Toys that contain metal wires and parts should be avoided. There should be no exposed metal parts in the toys. Care should be taken that plastic toys must not be broken and the sharp edges must not be exposed. Wooden toys, on the other hand must be smoothly finished and splinter free. All fasteners that are used in the toys, that is, things like nails, staples, bolts and screws, must be securely attached and covered. Stuffed toys must not have hard and sharp matter that might harm the children.
Parts that might strangle
Care should be taken that chords or straps on toys in the form of loops are not present in the toys, since that might harm the child. Loops should be small enough so that they might not fit over a child’s head; neither should a cord be so long that it can be wrapped around the child’s neck.
Care should be taken that the elastics that are used to attach a toy across the baby’s crib or playpen, does not stretch beyond 750 millimeters.