Toy testing made by Hohenstein
When is a toy a toy and what needs to be tested?
Our toy tests "Made by Hohenstein" and the resulting test report provide an objective and independent proof of your product’s quality and safety.
One of the most important bases for safe and good toys is the compliance with the European Directive of Toys. This is not only relevant for classic toys, but also for products which range in the so-called "grey area", meaning which combine criteria of toys but also of usual adult products.We are happy to help you on these matters.
Requirements and toy testing
If your product falls into the category "toys" or the "grey zone", meaning the product is not clearly defined as a toy, the corresponding requirements will be fixed. Beside the age grading, also the consideration of the design and special categories play an important role regarding the assessment of the hazard potential that may emanate from the product. During the tests no changes may occur at the product that could pose a risk to children. In order to make testing behave as close to reality as possible, the predictable as well as the creative playing is considered. Therefore, the toy is thrown, beaten, pressed and torn according to the defined requirements. If defects arise during the test those will be examined and assessed.
- Mechanical and physical properties (EN 71 - 1)
"Play is the highest form of research." (Albert Einstein)
To ensure that children can play without hesitation the mechanical and physical properties of both the materials from which toys are made and the finished toys are tested. Checking the packaging, labelling and instructions is also part of the test program.
Example impact test
To avoid injuries by e.g. splits, edges, and tips a toy needs to be produced in a robust and reliable way. One possibility to test robustness and reliability of toys is the impact test.
During the test a weight is dropped onto the most unfavourable part of the product from a defined height. Then the experts analyse whether a defect was caused or not. Basically there should be no edges or points that could pose any risk. If edges or points occur during the testing procedure they may only be accepted when they don’t cause any danger.
- Flammability (EN 71 - 2)
"No way for critical situation”
During flammability tests the Hohenstein experts check whether toys contain banned flammable substances or whether any highly flammable materials that are used do comply with the requirements of the test standard. The flammability test refers to toys that show a high potential for fire hazard:
- toys to be worn on the head: beards, moustaches, wigs, etc. made of hair or pile
- material with similar features: hoods, head-dresses, etc. and masks
- toy disguise costumes and toys intended to be worn by a child in play
- and others
- Migration of certain elements (EN 71 – 3)
We test whether materials or components in the toys contain toxic elements which would put a child at risk if they were ingested by sucking, licking, swallowing or touching. For example, wooden toys are tested for soluble metals like chrome (III) and (VI), aluminium and organotin compounds.
- Organic chemical compounds (EN 71 - 9-11)
"Getting the chemistry right"
The testing for organic-chemical compounds involves, firstly, testing toys and parts of toys which are in contact with the skin for long periods and secondly those which come in contact with eyes or could be put into or ingested through the mouth. The chemicals which are taken into account and which represent a possible risk or could have toxic implications are divided into the following nine groups:
- flame retardants
- colourants: dyes
- primary aromatic amines
- solvents: migration
- solvents: inhalation
- wood preservatives
Example preservatives and wood preservative:
Preservatives summarise, amongst others, pesticides and phenols or organotin compounds. They are used as wood preservatives or for bleaching in paper manufacture. Especially phenols are well-known as poorly water soluble, low-volatile, toxic and partially carcinogenic compounds. Therefore, they are not permitted to be used in toys as e.g. puzzles or books. Isothiazolines show similar characteristics. These are organic compounds containing sulfur and nitrogen. They are used as preservatives, e.g. in disperse paints and lacquers for paper production or also as a wood preservative. Thus, you can find it in wooden trains, baby rings or books.
- N-nitrosamines and N-nitrosatable substances (EN 71 - 12)
We test toys or parts of toys made of elastomers that are intended to or may be placed in the mouth or that are intended for children under 36 months.
- Safety of electric toys (EN 62115)
Electricity poses an invisible risk to children. As a consequence, the test of electrically operated toys is very important. Often, toys – especially for small children – are equipped only with a battery to ensure a low power. Nevertheless, even such a low power level may cause danger to our children, since they are very sensitive. This also includes danger arising from the field of electromagnetic compatibility.
EN 645 and EN 1541
- Paper and board (EN 645 and EN 1541)
Paper and board which are used on toys or their packaging and could, for example, come into contact with liquids or foodstuffs, are tested for formaldehyde.
EN ISO 787-9
- Pigments and extenders (EN ISO 787-9)
The pigments and extenders used in toys are tested for their pH value and to make sure they are harmless.