Product-group-specific instructions and requirements

Magnets in toys

Requirements for magnets included in or detachable from toys:

  • the strength of magnets must be less than 50 kG2/mm2; or
  • magnets must be so large that they do not fit entirely within the small parts cylinder and therefore cannot be swallowed by children because of their large size; or
  • magnets must be affixed to the toy tightly enough not to detach in tests for easily detachable small parts.

If swallowed, a strong magnet may result in problems including intestinal blockage or rupture.

The use of magnets and magnetic components is permitted in magnetism and electricity experimental sets intended for children over the age of 8. In such case the packaging and user instructions must include a warning on the dangers that magnets pose:

“WARNING! Not suitable for children under 8 years of age. This product contains small magnets. Swallowed magnets can stick together across intestines causing serious injuries. Immediately seek medical attention if magnet(s) are swallowed.”

The warning is not necessary if the magnets included in the experimental set meet the above-mentioned design requirements.

Requirements for magnets in toys and labelling of toys are defined in standard SFS-EN 71-1 Safety of toys. Mechanical and physical properties.

Battery-operated toys and button batteries in toys

Toys must not contain button batteries which children can access. Button batteries may cause serious bodily injury, such as choking, corrosion of internal organs or even death.

Button batteries or R1 batteries must not be accessible without

  • tools or
  • at least two simultaneous independent actions.

With respect to button batteries, the requirement applies to toys intended for children of all ages and with toys intended for children under the age of 3 the requirement applies to all battery models.

Risks related to button batteries can be reduced through the following:

  • Safe packing of batteries
  • Warning labels
  • Safe battery compartments in products
  • Clear instructions for disposal
  • Increasing adults’ awareness of the dangers related to button batteries.

Additional warnings and markings on toys that contain batteries

Battery-operated toys with replaceable batteries must include

  • information on the voltage rating inside or on the battery compartment;
  • the direct current symbol, if the toy has a battery compartment;
  • instructions for replacing batteries;
  • a warning that non-rechargeable batteries must not be recharged; and
  • a warning that different types of batteries or old and new batteries must not be used together.

Detailed requirements for batteries in toys and information on tests and warnings on battery-operated toys are covered by standard SFS-EN 62115.

Toy guns

In toy guns

  • the projectiles must be long enough;
  • suction cups affixed to projectiles must stay fixed to the projectile, choking hazard; and
  • the kinetic energy generated by projectiles must be in compliance with regulations, eye injuries.

Depending on the type of the toy gun and the kinetic energy generated by its projectiles, the following warnings must be affixed to the toy or its packaging in Finnish and Swedish:

  • “Only use projectiles recommended or supplied by the manufacturer.”
  • “Do not aim at eyes or face.”

The toy inside a surprise egg must be inside a capsule and both the toy and the capsule must meet the requirements set in the Toy Safety Act.

Surprise eggs and capsule toys

Toys that are sold together with foodstuffs must be placed inside their own separate packaging. The packaging must be large enough that it is not possible for a child to swallow or inhale it. The outer packaging of the foodstuff must also include the following warning:

“Warning. Contains a toy. Adult supervision recommended.”

Other warnings and markings on toys must also be taken into account.

The toy inside a surprise egg must be inside a capsule and both the toy and the capsule must meet the requirements set in the Toy Safety Act.

Warnings on capsule toys must be printed in large enough font and suitable colour to make sure it stands out from other text. The text must not be obscured by any folds in the packaging. The required warnings must also appear on a slip of paper inside the capsule or in some other clear and legible manner on the capsule.

Precise measurements and instructions for cylinder-shaped rounded packaging (capsules) are provided in standard EN 71-1.

Price, giveaway and free toys

Toys offered to consumers free of charge must also meet the requirements of the Toy Safety Act. These toys include:

  • toys of fast food restaurants;
  • prices at fairs;
  • toy gifts given out by associations, unions and political parties; and
  • giveaway toys given when purchasing a product (e.g. from a pharmacy), for example.

If a toy that is not suitable for children under the age of 3 is offered to consumers, the marketing of the toy must draw consumers’ attention to the age restriction. Such toys must also not be made available to children under the age of 3.

The distributor’s materials, such as a restaurant price list or other marketing material (e.g. brochure or website), must display any age restrictions.

Structural requirements and warnings have been defined in standard SFS-EN 71-1 Safety of toys. Mechanical and physical properties.

Board games

Card and board games that are intended for children under the age of 14 are classified as toys and safety requirements set for toys apply to them.

Games that are intended for children over the age of 14 and adults are considered to be general consumer goods and they must meet the requirements set in the Consumer Safety Act. In practise, this means that a game must not pose a danger to anyone’s health or property.

The packaging of general consumer goods must include the following markings:

  • name of the merchandise, which indicates the purpose of use;
  • name of the manufacturer, commissioner or importer, so that consumers or an authority can contact them if necessary; and
  • any instructions and warnings as necessary.

General consumer goods must not be CE marked.

Structural requirements and warnings are defined in standard SFS-EN 71-1 Safety of toys. Mechanical and physical properties.

Writing and craft supplies

Writing and craft supplies are in a so-called grey zone, which means that whether an article is a toy or not has to be assessed separately for each product.

Writing and craft supplies can be roughly categorised as follows:

The following are usually considered to be toys:

  • coloured pencils, markers, tubes of paint, wax crayons, road chalks,
  • finger paints, stamps,
  • craft kits, the play value of the end product greatly influences the assessment.

The following are not considered to be toys:

  • arts supplies,
  • educational products,
  • usually writing supplies.

A case-specific assessment can be made utilising the guidance document by the European Commission No 4 Guidance document on grey zone problem: Is a specific product covered by the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC or not. Language versions DE, FR, EN available.

Examples of aspects to note:

  • place of sale: a toy store, a toy department or an art supply store?
  • target group for marketing and packaging: for example, are there pictures of children?
  • price
  • size

If the product is a toy → CE marking and other marking requirements.

If the product is not a toy → it is considered to be a general consumer good and it must meet the requirements put forward in the Consumer Safety Act, which means that the product must not pose a danger to anyone’s health or property. The product must not be CE marked.

The packaging of general consumer goods must include the following markings:

  • name of the merchandise, which indicates the purpose of use;
  • name of the manufacturer, commissioner or importer, so that consumers or an authority can contact them if necessary; and
  • any instructions and warnings as necessary.

Are craft supplies chemical products?

Certain craft supplies, such as finger paints, glues and slimes, are chemical products.

The supplier of certain substances or mixtures must provide a safety data sheet to the recipient. The requirements are specified in REACH.

Warning symbols must be used on products that may cause skin irritation.

Structural requirements and warnings are defined in standard SFS-EN 71-1 Safety of toys. Mechanical and physical properties.

Hobby horses

Hobby horses and their accessories are classified as toys. Thus, the Act on the Safety of Toys and its requirements apply to them.

Structural requirements on hobby horses and warnings that should accompany them are specified in standard SFS-EN 71-1 Safety of toys. Mechanical and physical properties.

Electric toys

The use of certain metals, plasticizing agents and fire retardants in electrical and electronic equipment is subject to restrictions. The purpose of RoHS, i.e. Restriction of Hazardous Substances, legislation is to protect human health and the environment and reduce the harmfulness of waste. RoHS legislation also applies to toys with electronic functions, such as blinking LED lights.

Detailed requirements for electric toys and information on tests and warnings on electric toys are covered by standard SFS-EN 62115.

Laser

Lasers are not toys.

Light-emitting diodes (LED) or incandescent light bulbs are usually used as the source of light in laser (fighting) games marketed as toys. If a toy contains a laser, it must fall under the safest class, Class 1. Maximum permissible exposure (MPE) levels have been set to protect against permanent eye damage.

Those using laser devices must always follow the installation and user instructions and any other safety regulations issued for them.

Toys containing lasers that are too powerful or have insufficient labelling do not meet the requirements set in Section 26 of the Toy Safety Act or Section 26 of the Government Decree issued under the Act. Further information on lasers is available at the STUK website.

Trampolines

The economic operator, meaning the manufacturer, importer and distributor of a trampoline, is responsible for ensuring that trampolines sold to consumers meet the safety requirements, and do not endanger consumers' safety.

Trampolines intended for domestic use are divided into 3 categories:

 

  diameter (mm) height (mm) maximum weight of the jumper (kg)
Mini, indoor use < 1500 < 350 20
Medium 1500-2500

≥ 350

50
Large

≥ 2500

≥ 350

determined by the manufacturer


 

 

Aspects critical to the safety of trampolines are related to the following:

  • structural durability;
  • stability in use; and
  • safety nets.

Trampolines intended for domestic use are regarded as toys and shall therefore meet the requirements laid down in the legislation on toys. In addition to legislation on toys, trampolines are also covered by standard EN 71-14 Safety of Toys. Part 14: Trampolines for domestic use.

Trampoline safety nets

Safety nets must always be included in the sales package of medium and large trampolines.

Mini trampolines may be delivered with a safety net, or can be equipped with handles. If a small trampoline is equipped with handles, the trampoline should not include a safety net.

Markings and user instructions of trampolines

Warning labels and user instructions for toy trampolines shall make the users and their supervisors pay attention to the dangers and risks involved with the use of trampolines and the methods to avoid them.

Products must be accompanied by information necessary for safe use:

  • markings (e.g. centre of the trampoline)
  • warnings
  • instructions for installation, use and maintenance.

The presentation of the information shall be plain and intelligible. All necessary warnings and user instructions must be given in both Finnish and Swedish.

Detailed requirements for markings, warnings and user instructions that should accompany trampolines can be found in standard EN 71-14.

Marketing of trampolines

Dangerous situations involving trampolines can also be prevented by paying attention to the marketing of products.

  • Marketing is inappropriate if it depicts situations that encourage consumers to neglect safety instructions.
  • Marketing of trampolines shall also provide consumers with an accurate image on the safe use of trampolines. For example,
    • a trampoline may only be used by one child at a time; and
    • a safety net must be installed to medium and large trampolines.

Correct marketing is especially important when the product is primarily used by children who may find it difficult to assess or take into account safety issues.

According to the Consumer Protection Act, no conduct that is inappropriate or otherwise unfair from the point of view of consumers is allowed in marketing.