Never buy toys without CE marking
CE marking indicates the conformity of toys.
CE marking demonstrates that the item meets the essential safety requirements.
With this, the manufacturer ensures that the toy complies with all the safety requirements that apply in the European Union.
CE marking must be affixed in a visible, legible and permanent manner to the toy itself or its packaging.
Choose toys that are suitable to the child's age
Toys must be chosen carefully and preferably be adapted to the child’s age, capabilities and skills.
The following indications could help you make your choice:
- The age recommendation and, in particular, the pictogram prohibiting the use of the toy for children aged 0 to 3;
- the indication "not suitable for children under the age of 3", together with a description of the hazard;
- instructions for use.
Check the safety of toys intended for children younger than 3
Toys intended for children under the age of 3 shall not contain small parts that could be ingested. Choking is the most common cause of toy-related death.
- should not break;
- shall not have sharp edges;
- shall not have small parts (such as eyes, wheels, buttons) that can be pulled off;
- cannot include long chains, ropes or cords; these are dangerous to infants and toddlers as they could cause entanglement or lead to strangulation.
Beware of noisy toys
The sensitive ears of children can be damaged by excessive decibels. The noise level of toys is limited by regulations.
Beware of overly scented or oddly smelling toys
Strong smells in certain toys could be caused by volatile chemical substances. But a strong smell does not necessarily mean that a ty is dangerous.
Regulations limit or forbid the presence of certain chemical substances.
Check to ensure batteries are stored in a protected compartment
Batteries must always be kept out of reach of children.
Batteries must be housed in a protected compartment that can be opened using a special instrument or via two separate but consecutive actions.
Buy your toys in reliable stores and webshops
Counterfeit toys can be dangerous and should not be bought.
If you buy second-hand toys, always check the condition carefully.
Beware of damaged soft toys!
Check if the manufacturer/importer's address is provided
The address of the manufacturer and/or importer must be indicated on the packaging or in a document that accompanies the toy.
Please note: a website is not considered to be a contact address.
Always read the warnings, the instructions and the instructions for use
Always read the instructions for user and warnings to make sure that the toy is suitable for the child’s age. Instructions for use, warnings and safety instructions provided with toys intended for the Belgian market must be written (at least) in the language of the region where the toys are being sold.
If required for safe use, some toys come with warnings that specify particular user restrictions (PDF, 239.65 KB).
Limits of use that are important for the user are:
- a minimum and maximum age;
- a minimum or maximum weight;
- the need to ensure that the toy is used under supervision of an adult; and
- sometimes the skill level of the user.
Warnings must be:
- clearly visible;
- easy to read;
- easy to understand;
- provided in the language(s) of the region;
- accurate; and
- preceded by the word "Warning".
Warnings must not contradict the intended use of the toy. They must also be given on the toy and on the packaging and possibly in the instructions for use too.
Please note: not all toys are suitable for all children. Read the recommendations relating to safety (PDF, 239.65 KB) and take them seriously. For example, the use of roller-skates, bicycles and scooters by children requires them to wear protective gear such as a helmet. These toys may not be used on public roads due to the risk of traffic accidents.
Warning: some toy categories must come with warnings or a pictogram of the particular category of toy.
For example, toys intended for children over the age of three may be appealing to very small children but could pose a risk to them. These toys must mention:
- the warning "not suitable for children under the age of three";
- and/or the pictogram ;
- the word "warning" prior to the warning/pictogram;
- the reasons/justification of the hazard.
Always used your common sense
One final tip: check whether the type, batch, series or model number is given, or another element which could provide identification of the toy. This identification must be displayed on the toy, on the packaging or in an accompanying document.