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Standard of the month: ISO 8124-2:2023 Safety of toys — Part 2: Flammability

This month’s standard of the month is one all parents or guardians can relate to and appreciate the importance of, in addressing the flammability of toys.

Some babies toys on a shelf

Toys shown for illustrative purpose only

Newly published International standard ISO 8124:2023 Safety of toys — Part 2: Flammability sets safety requirements for those toys that could pose a significant risk of injury to a child from the hazards presented by their potential to catch fire.

With the majority of toys manufactured internationally (80% through China), having harmonised standards that work for consumers, suppliers, and manufacturers across a global market makes sense and reflects universal concerns over child safety. The 8124 series of ISO standards cover many types of toys and requirements. Adherence to the standards shows that models of that toy have undergone specific tests, in the case of Part 2 for flammability and ignition. The standard considers toys young children might climb into or through, such as tents, tunnels, or puppet theatres, and items worn on the head such as masks and wigs and soft-filled toys normally cuddled or hugged.

While no standard can eliminate the need for supervisory responsibility, nor does the standard necessarily require an item to not be combustible, it does require a clear warning in English where there is a particular risk: “Warning! Keep away from fire.” It also addresses coatings and finishes, design, and fabric considerations with recommendations for each.

For manufacturers the standard details measurements and test method good practices relating to different types of toys, with illustrated examples given. The original content was built with consultation of several databases including those of the United Kingdom’s Home Accident Surveillance System and the US’s Consumer Product Safety Commission.

New Zealand has participatory status on this standard through Technical Committee ISO/TC 181 (established in 1980), meaning we have national interest and representation in developing the content. We think you’ll agree anything that brings consumer safety and assurance to help protect our tamariki deserves to be standard of the month.

ISO 8124:2023 Safety of toys — Part 2: Flammability is available through our webshop.