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May/June 2009

Toy Safety Standard Is Revised

In its continuing efforts to reflect the latest issues in toy safety and to deal with emerging hazards, ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products has approved revisions to ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. Changes made to the standard include revisions to the section on ingestion of magnetic components in toys.

ASTM F963, under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F15.22 on Toy Safety, includes guidelines and test methods to prevent injuries from choking, sharp edges and other potential hazards. The standard is reviewed and updated on a regular basis by Committee F15, which includes technical experts from academia, consumer groups, industry and government.

Revisions now approved for F963 include the following:

  • Magnets — The revisions account for ingestion incidents due to magnetic components that were small parts of a toy and reflect the age of children involved in the incidents. The section on magnets now also includes special use and abuse requirements to avoid magnets from detaching from components during play.
  • Acoustics — Requirements to this section were changed to provide greater clarity. The revisions to this section also further the harmonization between F963 and the European toy standard, EN71-1, Safety of Toys.
  • Yo-yo tether toys — Requirements have been added to address potential strangulation hazards associated with yo-yo elastic tether toys intended for children three years of age or older.
  • Impaction hazards — A new section providing impaction hazard requirements for toys intended for children up to the age of 48 months has been added. Diagrams of spherical and hemispherical ends were also added.
  • Flammability — The revision establishes the protocol and general criteria for flammability testing of solids and soft toys in conformance with the requirements of 16 CFR 1500.3(c)(6)(vi).
  • Other revised areas of the standard include sections on jaw entrapment; packaging film/age requirements as they pertain to use and abuse testing; and folding mechanisms and hinges.

Requirements for testing lead in toys have not changed from the F963-07 version of the standard cited in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which went into effect on Feb. 10 of this year. For more information about the CPSIA and compliance with this new law, visit the CPSC Web site, click here.


Technical Information: Joan Lawrence, Toy Industry Association, New York, N.Y.

Phone: 646-520-4844

ASTM Staff: Leonard Morrissey

Phone: 610-832-9719