Toys are not without risk. To avoid any danger, it is essential to read the instructions for use, heed the safety warnings and check their operation. The Repression of Fraud takes stock.

The end-of-year celebrations are an opportunity to remind people that toys must have enhanced safety due to the vulnerability of the young audience for whom they are intended. The Repression of Fraud (DGCCRF) would like to inform an information point that a child who plays is not always aware of the danger: he must therefore be protected against the risk of injury during normal use. and predictable. "Toys sold in France must comply with the safety requirements imposed by European regulations which take into account the usual behavior of children: mechanical properties, chemical and electrical characteristics, hygiene ...", she notes.

To prevent the risk of injury, toys are subject to regulatory obligations resulting from Decree No. 2010-166 of February 22, 2010 relating to the safety of toys. The text in question covers all products designed "to be used, exclusively or not, for play by children under the age of 14 or which are intended for this purpose". Thus, the famous "CE" marking on the toy signifies that the manufacturer certifies that his product meets the regulatory safety requirements: it is the sign that the conformity assessment procedures have been applied., And must be affixed in such a way. legible, visible and indelible on the product, its label or its packaging.

Beware of toys not intended for children under 36 months

  According to the Fraud Control, “this regulation also requires that the toy be accompanied by appropriate labeling including, in particular, warnings intended to draw the attention of young users (or those responsible for supervising them) to the risks inherent in certain types of toys and how to avoid them. This is, for example, the indication of a minimum age or a warning about the need for toys to be used under the supervision of adults. This appears in particular on activity toys, functional toys, water toys, toys containing foodstuffs and even chemical toys. 

There are also specific warnings for toys not intended for children under 36 months (3 years). They should carry, for example, the warning "not suitable for children under 36 months" or the graphic age warning symbol (head of a child and 0-3 in a red crossed circle). Among the reports of a particular danger incurred are in particular: "small elements (suffocation)", "long rope (strangulation)", "small balls (suffocation)". In addition, the Repression of Fraud refers to the particular case of magnet toys which can be dangerous if they are accessible because the child can swallow them and suffocate.

Avoid old toys and battery operated toys

  “Also, if two or more magnets are ingested, the elements can stick together through the intestines and cause perforations or intestinal blockages. “, Add the experts. This is the reason why it is possible to find on magnetic and / or electrical experiment sets the warning: "Not suitable for children under 8 years old. This product contains small magnets ”. Also watch out for old toys that may not meet current safety requirements. But also to the batteries used in electric toys, primarily because of the risk of ingestion by young children (most often under 6).  

Battery-powered toys also have other, less well-known risks, namely that although their use is common, they can be the cause of accidents when they are too old, have received a shock or are not all changed at the same time. . So what are the buying advice to know beforehand? First of all, therefore, check that the toys have the “CE” marking and that they are suitable for the age of the children: the mention of a recommended age on the toy or the packaging helps guide your choice. . For young children, simple mechanisms are to be preferred over toys which include folding mechanisms (risk of pinching or cutting).

The DGCCRF also invites you to pay attention to toys that contain batteries or a transformer allowing an electrical connection. “Check that the case is secure and that the batteries are not easily accessible. », She says, specifying that it is possible to ask to be able to handle the toy. As for the advice for use, it is first of all necessary to read the present instructions beforehand. Then the child must be explained how the toy works and be made aware of the manipulations to be avoided. Finally, care should be taken to ensure that toddlers do not borrow toys from their elders and do not leave too small objects lying around that could be attractive to them.