How to Buy a Toy

Not all toys intended for children ensure safety and reliability, and parents are not always aware of what are the parameters to be assessed at the time of purchase.

Choose a toy to give to a child is not just (or should not only mean) buy an item. Not only because the toys are for the little instruments of growth and education (each purchase, then, should underlie the part of those who make fun of evaluations and psycho-pedagogical), but also by reason of products to a category considered vulnerable – children in fact – should respect strict safety parameters, eliminating any possibility of a health risk.

Unfortunately, however, is not always so and the dangers that in some cases are hidden behind a doll, a toy car, a plush, to a board game … can be of different nature: the use of toxic chemicals, mechanical problems, the presence of small parts that can easily be swallowed …
A survey conducted in December 2004 by Altroconsumo and considered still relevant, had highlighted what were the main dangers hidden behind some of the most common games (out of 120 analyzed 57 toys turned out of the norm from all points of view) alerting parents of those who were to be the parameters to be evaluated at the time of purchase.

Since Christmas is coming, and with Christmas the ride to the purchase of the last toy, cult object of the moment, we thought to provide some indication about could be of great use to those who will take care of gifts for children.

First, a consideration preliminary. There is a European directive, the EU Directive No. 378 of 1988, which should ensure the safety of toys, thereby protecting small consumers.
Unfortunately, however, this is an incomplete directive which, too often, large companies manage to overcome with simple tricks and stratagems (one of all: the minimum age stated).
Also, they do not fall within the “toys category” some potentially dangerous objects which, however, are often handled by children: slingshots, Christmas decorations, darts, blowguns …
Finally, the CE mark, required by law, it should identify a safe toy, can be easily manipulated and is, sometimes, applied superficially by the manufacturers. Read more about RC helicopter buying guide.

Then there is the issue of phthalates, substances contained in soft PVC is used in many items for children and that, based on studies carried out already at the beginning of the nineties, would be carcinogenic mutagenic and toxic (it seems, in fact, that these substances are not chemically absorbed by the PVC and can free themselves, for example in the mouth of a child, with serious damage to the body). Among the latter, some have already been months ban from the European Union which has banned the use in all toys (DEHP, DBP, BBP); for others, however, (DINP, DIDP, DNOP), the prohibition shall apply only to articles intended for children under the age of three years (the alternative to the use of these materials exist and is represented, for example, from thermoplastic and from particular mixtures of polymers. Greenpeace indicates some).