Our new range of Embroider Buddies have been a huge hit with hobbyists and small business owners alike. They are cute, easy to embroider, and kids love them.
We've had customers ask a couple of great questions
- Are the EBs safe for babies and small children?
- And are business owners liable for the safety of products they sell?
The short answer to both questions is yes. The long answer gives us a chance to cover the important topic of toy safety. Stuffed toys might seem harmless, but can be deadly.
In the United States (where much better statistics are kept than in Australia), over 190,000 children are injured by toys every year and sadly some cases end in fatalities (CPSC, 2013). To protect children worldwide, a number of design and manufacturing standards have been created. The most important standard for stuffed toys has the catchy name of ISO8124.
Every country makes it's own modifications to the standard, but these are usually minor. If a toy has been certified to any version of ISO8124 (in Europe it's also called EN71), you know it's not only been designed and manufactured with safety in mind but has also had strict laboratory tests performed to be certain.
If you're a small business operator, using certified toys is doubly important. Selling unsafe toys is not only unethical, but also illegal. If you sell a product that injures a small child, you could be just as liable as the original importer or manufacturer. Source trusted, certified toys like the Embroider Buddies protects you, your customers and your businesses.
So how can you tell if a toy meets the standards?
Sometimes it will be marked on the label. Otherwise contact either the manufacturer or Australian importer – a reputable supplier will proudly show their certificates. Don't be afraid to show off your new-found knowledge and ask if they meet ISO8124 and which laboratory did the testing. Sometimes they'll have additional certifications for environmental, worker safety or labour laws (see the information on EB's ICTI certification below). If all else fails, do your own inspection. Toy safety is mostly about common sense:
- Check the seams are secure. Loose stuffing can pose a choking hazard.
- Ensure the eyes and nose are secure. For example, the EB products have embroidered eyes and noses for safety.
- Make sure there are no loose threads or strings.
- Toys should be washable (The EB skins and pods can go in both the washer and dryer)
Keep in mind that toys are going to be chewed, clawed, trodden on and washed repeatedly. Choose toys that are well-made and can stand up to abuse.
Toy safety matters. Make the smart choice.
What about the Embroider Buddy range?
Each buddy in the Embroider Buddy range is manufactured by one of the world's experts in stuffed toys, Parkdale Novelty. They have over 70 years of expertise in toy manufacturing. The complete range of EB products are not only certified and laboratory tested to ISO8124/EN71, but the factory is also ICTI certified - meaning it's inspected for cleanliness, employee safety and doesn't use child labour.
View the Embroider Buddy range available at Echidna Sewing.