In its ongoing efforts to reflect the latest issues and emerging hazards in the
realm of toy safety, ASTM has published its latest revision to F963, Consumer
Safety Specification for Toy Safety. The 2008 version of the standard contains
revised sections on ingestion of magnetic components, impaction hazards, acoustics,
flammability and many others.
Revisions account for incidents of ingestion due
to magnetic components that were small parts of
a toy and to reflect the age of children involved
in the incidents. Size requirement for magnets and
magnetic components has been increased to the small
parts cylinder, and the age requirement has also
been extended to toys for children up to 14 years
of age. In addition, it includes special use and
abuse requirements to avoid magnets from detaching
from components during play.
Continuous sounds requirements for the pass-by test
for push/pull toys have been replaced by the impulsive
sounds requirements. The revisions to this section
also provided further harmonization between F963
and the European toy standard, EN71-1.
Tether Toys: Exemption for sports balls with
wrist or ankle straps longer than 70 cm intended
to be kicked or thrown and returned to the user
has been added. The length of the strap shall be
measured when the product is placed on a horizontal
surface with no load.
hazards: Toys intended for children between
the ages of 18 and 48 months that include nail,
screw and bolt shapes that weigh less than 1.1 lb
and incorporate spherical or hemispherical ends
attached to a shaft or handle, shall be so designed
that such ends are not capable of entering and penetrating
past the full depth of the cavity of the supplemental
test fixture. This requirement shall be tested under
the force only of its own weight and in a noncompressed
Definition of major axis has been re-defined, while
the definition of accessories, strings and paper
have been added. Exemptions for packaging materials,
textile fabrics, and sleeping bags have also been
revised. Packaging materials that are likely to
be incorporated into the play pattern of the toy
will not be exempt. A secondary test condition has
been added if the burn rate of the toy exceeds 0.1
in/s in part due to the presence of a permanently
attached fabric. New flammability testing procedures
for fabrics have been added.
and Hinges: The scope of this section has been
revised to toy products intended or likely to support
the weight of a child in normal use. Folding mechanisms
now include requirements for locking devices or
other means to prevent unexpected or sudden movement
or collapse of the article. The locking device shall
engage automatically when the product is placed
in the manufacturer's recommended use position.
A loading test has been added to check the rigidity
of the folding mechanism and locks.
in Handles & Steering Wheels: A newly added
requirement to the F963-08 version to address potential
jaw entrapment in handles and steering wheels that
are located such that they are accessible for teething
in the following categories of toys intended for
children under 18 months of age: activity tables
intended to be played with by a standing child,
large bulky toys, stationary floor toys, push toys
intended to be pushed by a child walking upright,
and ride-on toys. Handles or hinges connected to
the toy made with pliable material (straps and ropes)
will be considered exempt.
The toy chest requirements have been deleted from
this version of F963, as they are considered as
furniture and not a toy. Toy chests will be covered
by a separate standard ASTM F834.
Requirements for testing of lead in toys have not been changed from the F963-07
version of the standard cited in the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act
(CPSIA) of 2008. Under the CPSIA, the Consumer Safety Specification for Toy
Safety Standard, ASTM F963, shall become a mandatory toy safety standard under
section 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act. However, the Commission has issued
a "1 year stay of enforcement" therefore third-party testing and certification
for ASTM F963 is expected to be enforced in Feb 2010. Even so, manufacturers
must still continue to ensure their products meet the requirements of the law.