Toys for children up to and including 36 months of age

The mandatory standard prescribes requirements for the design and construction of toys for children up to and including 36 months.

About baby toys

Baby toys are toys for children up to and including 36 months. They include but are not limited to:

  • rattles, toy dummies, teethers, and squeeze toys
  • toys for attaching to cots, playpens, prams and strollers
  • push and pull toys
  • pounding toys
  • blocks and stacking toys
  • bath toys
  • rocking, spring and stick horses and figures
  • musical chime toys
  • jack-in-the box
  • stuffed, plush and flocked animals and figures
  • dolls
  • toys with pompoms
  • games and puzzles
  • toy cars, trucks and other vehicles.

The mandatory standard was created to reduce the chances of small parts coming off toys during play or after reasonable wear and tear, therefore helping to prevent choking, suffocation, or death.

The mandatory standard applies to toys for children up to and including 36 months old which have been:

  • manufactured
  • designed
  • labelled
  • marketed as playthings.

Exclusions

The mandatory standard excludes:

  • balloons
  • marbles
  • tapes and CDs
  • books
  • writing materials
  • paints and paint brushes
  • modelling materials including play dough, clay and plasticine
  • bicycles having a wheel base of not less than 640 mm
  • playground equipment for parks, schools and home use
  • goods supplied wholly or partially unassembled that require an adult to assemble them after they're bought, provided that when assembled according to their supplied written instructions, the goods comply with the specified standards
  • flotation toys
  • baby dummies
  • toys made wholly from highly porous material (such as cheesecloth) – except for toys with pompoms
  • toys made from certain plastics that are labelled according to the mandatory standard.

Convertible tricycles used for transportation

The ACCC has been conducting a market review of convertible tricycles, which are three wheel devices that usually have advertised age modes for children under 24 months and some features normally found in strollers.

The ACCC is particularly concerned that some suppliers have used images or words that give the impression that these tricycles are suitable for transporting children rather than them being toys that need to be used under supervision. These products do not have the safety features required by Consumer Protection Notice No. 8 of 2007 which sets out the mandatory requirements for prams and strollers, including parking brakes, tether straps and harnesses.

Suppliers should make their own assessments of products against the mandatory standard. Suppliers should also consider whether it is reasonably foreseeable that carers will misuse their products for transportation, even where safety warnings/instructions are in place.

Mandatory standard

This mandatory standard Consumer Protection Notice No. 14 of 2003, as amended by Consumer Protection No. 1 of 2005.sets out the requirements for toys for children up to and including 36 months.

The mandatory standard is based on certain sections of the voluntary Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002 'Safety of toys Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties'. AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002 is available from SAI Global.

You must consult the mandatory standard for these details.

Key requirements

The listed requirements aim to give suppliers a general idea of what is required by the mandatory standard. Suppliers must not rely on this information as a complete guide to compliance.

Testing methods

The mandatory standard specifies procedures for testing that suppliers should organise through specialist testing laboratories.

Design and construction

Toys for young children can come in many shapes, forms and materials. The toy itself and any parts of it that can come off must not be smaller than a certain size; this size is roughly the same as a 35 mm film canister. Manufacturers must ensure their toys comply with the standard.

Labelling

Toy suppliers must note that even if toys are labelled and/or marketed for older children, the mandatory standard may apply if the toys are commonly recognised as being intended or suitable for children under 36 months of age.

The standard provides some guidance on appropriate ages for using toys, referencing official United States age determination guidelines by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (pdf).