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Which products are classed as toys?

A toy is any product that is designed or clearly intended for a child under 14 years of age to use.

What are the general safety requirements for toys?

The essential safety requirements for new and second-hand toys are to protect the person using the toy and anybody else from injury or damage to their health, bearing in mind children’s behaviour. Toys should meet British Standard 5665 (EN71), and they must not:

  • be flammable
  • have small parts which can be taken off easily and which the child may choke on, for example, eyes or buttons (toys which have small parts and are not suitable for children under three must carry an age suitability and danger warning)
  • have sharp edges or points or anything that children could get their fingers trapped in or
  • contain poisonous substances or poisonous paint.

Are there any labelling requirements?

All new toys that you sell must be marked with:

  • the name and address of the manufacturer or importer (if they are made in a country outside the European Community) and
  • the CE mark.

These marks must be on the toy or its packaging and be permanent and easy to read.

On small toys these marks may be on:

  • a label attached to the toy
  • a leaflet that comes with the toy or
  • the toys’ display box.

Do certain toys need warnings or instructions?

Yes. Some toys must come with warnings and instructions about precautions that need to be taken for the toy to be used safely. These include:

  • statements on toys that are not suitable for children under three years old and the reason why, for example, a danger of choking
  • instructions for putting the toy together correctly and using it properly (for example, swings and slides)
  • labels to tell the customer if children need to be supervised by an adult when they are playing with a toy, or if the toy should only be used by children over a certain age
  • warnings on toys such as skateboards or skates which need the person to have protective equipment and
  • warnings on toys for use in the water, such as inflatable rings.

The Department of Trade and Industry has produced detailed guidance notes on the UK regulations for toy safety available from

Contact Us

If you would like further information, please contact us at Ballymoney Office, Riada House, 14 Charles Street, Ballymoney BT53 6DZ.