ASTM International’s World-Renowned Toy Safety Standard (F963)

    Background

    Since 1986, ASTM International's Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety (F963) has been considered the "gold standard" for toy safety. It is continually reviewed by ASTM International members to keep pace with innovation, to incorporate new information, and to ensure consistent application.

    In the United States, since 2009, all toys must meet the safety requirements of F963, per the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). In Europe, manufacturers test toys according to EN71, Safety of Toys. The global toy industry has worked to make these two standards functionally equivalent on most key attributes.

    ASTM International's Committee on Consumer Products (F15) regularly updates the standard to ensure its technical guidance addresses emerging hazards, new toys, new data, and more. This committee includes 1,000+ members: manufacturers, retailers, government, trade associations, academia, child-safety groups, medical and child development experts, and consumers. The committee develops standards for a wide variety of consumer goods, including juvenile products, toys, playground equipment, candles, and pool safety. The subcommittee that maintains F963 is F15.22 on Toy Safety.

    F963 covers toys for children under 14 years of age, including plush toys, balls, games, dolls and action figures, infant and preschool toys, battery-operated toys, ride-on toys, projectile toys, and many more. The standard includes requirements and test methods related to small parts, sharp points and sharp edges, chemical and material safety, ingestion, pinching, battery overheating, use and abuse, and other potential hazards. Its aim is to reduce possible safety hazards of toys. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of the F963 standard is that it continues to be at the forefront in identifying and effectively addressing potential emerging safety issues and has led the world in this regard.

    2016 and 2017 Updates

    • In 2016, the standard was revised to address ride-on toys with a new curb impact requirement, a clarification of overload and stability requirements, and a strap exemption. This revision also added:
    • new labeling requirements for toys that have certain small coin/button batteries;
    • temperature and current-limiting requirements for lithium-ion batteries;
    • new requirements for materials and toys that could expand if accidentally swallowed;
    • new soaking and compression tests for magnets;
    • new requirements and clarifications related to microbiological safety;
    • clarifications to heavy elements requirements for toy substrate materials;
    • revised requirements for toys involving projectiles; and
    • clarification of requirements and supplemental guidance for impact hazards.

    In 2017, the new language was added to indicate that the kinetic energy density measurement is only performed when projectiles exceed a certain amount as not all projectiles present a risk of injury.

    For More Information

    • For media inquiries, contact Daniel Bergels, +1.610.832.9602.
    • For technical questions related to F963, contact Joan Lawrence, Toy Industry Association.
    • For more information about Committee F15 and becoming an ASTM member, contact Leonard Morrissey (phone: +1.610.832.9719).
    • ASTM International's open consensus process and online tools help ensure worldwide access for anyone interested in participating in standards development.