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Electrically safe toys

There is an EU Toys Directive (2009/48/EC on the safety of toys). The directive has been in force since 20 July 2011. In Sweden, the directive was transposed by a new act on the safety of toys.

The supervisory authorities for the new act are the Consumer Agency, the Chemicals Agency and the National Electrical Safety Board. For the National Electrical Safety Board, this means that the authority maintains regulations for toys and carries out supervision.

New arrangements

The new Toys Directive makes big changes to the chemical aspects of a toy, in other words the substances that a toy may contain. There are fewer changes to the electrical characteristics of toys.

There are several differences in electrical properties between the new and the old directive in Annex II, Section IV of the two directives. Some of the differences are listed here:

  • Previously, no part of the toy was allowed to exceed a voltage of 24 volts. In the new directive, the voltage of accessible parts of the toy must not exceed 24 volts.
  • The new directive explicitly requires that under foreseeable fault conditions, toys must provide protection against electrical hazards arising from an electrical power source.
  • The new directive also explicitly states that electric toys must not pose a fire hazard.
  • The new directive requires that a fault in the control system of the toy must not create a dangerous situation.

When is a toy not a toy?

Not all toy-like products are classed as toys. Annex I contains a list of products that are not considered to be toys. Examples include:

  • Electrically driven vehicles which are intended to be used for travel on public roads, pavements, public pathways or cycle paths.
  • Functional educational products, such as electric ovens, irons or other functional products operated at a nominal voltage exceeding 24 volts which are sold exclusively for teaching purposes under adult supervision. This group of products is included in the old directive, but the text has been reformulated to cover other products.
  • Child-appealing luminaries.
  • Electrical transformers for toys.