I will be forever grateful to anyone who can help me with toy safety issues?

Hi everyone,

This might be a bit of a long shot, since I've been trying to resolve this for weeks, but I'd be really grateful if anyone could help me with this really tricky problem.

I'm looking to set up a business in handmade collectable toys (hope no one here objects to crafters going commercial) but have hit a brick wall regarding the CE regulations. Bascially, to conform to these rules, all my materials have to be CE compliant, otherwise I have to get everything tested individually and at such high costs that my business would simply be a non-starter Happy

CE-compliant toy stuffing has been easy to find, but everything else has been a nightmare! I'm trying to source suitable sewing thread and knitting acrylic now, but am finding this quite difficult because different standards seem to apply to toys and children's clothing (or the materials used to make them). I find this diffcult to understand, because surely something that a child wears could be much more harmful than something they play with if the harmful substances were used in the manufacture? Even knitting yarn that is advertised as being great for baby and children's wear is labelled with minimal information about safety testing.

Anyway, I hope all this makes sense and sorry for my little rant, but if anyone has any advice on suitable materials, or sources I can go to, I'd be very very thankful. If a similar topic has already come up in the forum, sorry for the repeat and please would you let me know? I'm quite new here and might have missed something out while browsing the forum.

Many many thanks! Happy

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6 replies since 19th May 2009 • Last reply 19th May 2009

umm, I really don't know. maybe check etsy or ebay?

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I know regulations are different for clothing and toys...perhaps because children are more likely to put toys in their mouths than clothing. Not that children don't put clothing in their mouths.

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maybe there is a gov website?

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would it apply to you though? they're collectables and handmade would anyone buy that for a child? I mean I would but I'm a crafter too

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is there a email or number where you could ask?

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Hi again,

I've been tossing all kinds of ideas in my head about this. I've looked at the govt regulations, and find them a little inconsistent because it seems that clothing isn't as rigorously tested as toys. But I feel that surely if flammability is an issue with toys, and harmful substances like nickel or lead, then something that a child wears and therefore is in prolonged contact with, should cause more concern than something they play with and can put down easily (unlike, say, pulling off a jumper, maybe?)

The rules are different for collectable bears, folk dolls and even christmas decorations (so a stuffed snowman arguably doesn't need certification) - not as strict - so I should think the same should apply to me, but I also had a chat with the trading standards lady who said they should be tested as toys. In fact, she even said that crafters who sell cuddlies on ebay should test them first! The rules are not terribly supportive of small businesses Happy but I hope that by sourcing materials that have undergone similar tests, that will absorb some of the costs.

Well, I've since found a way to weight them so they'll stand as a display piece, and I've put some of them in picture boxes. Makes them more expensive, but I hope that gets the 'collectable' message across and less of the 'toy'.

Thanks for your input! And hey, if anyone wants to go down this line, maybe I can be of help in future Happy

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