ASTM F963, “Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety,” has just been updated. It was last revised in 2011, so there are a number of important changes. Most particularly, the ASTM committee has issued new guidelines on “ride-on” toys. The new 2016 Edition is available now from Document Center Inc. You can purchase your copies online in either paper format or for pdf download.
Before F963 was a consumer safety specification, it was developed by NBS (the National Bureau of Standards – Now NIST) as a Voluntary Product Standard. Back in the day (1976), the number was PS 72. Now the document is maintained by ASTM with the help of TIA (the Toy Industry Association). It is part of the mandatory federal regulations for toys here in the U.S.
Why is there an ASTM F963? There are a lot of potential hazards that can be present in toys that may not be obvious to users. This ASTM standard addresses those hazards that might occur in normal use. Other than obvious issues like sewing kits with needles (the hazard is inherent in the toy itself), safety concerns are covered for a wide array of toys. These requirements must be met for all toys sold in the U.S.
What’s new in the 2016 Edition of this toy safety standard? Changes have been made throughout the document. To see all the changes, purchase a red-line edition. You’ll get a clean copy of the 2016 document plus a “marked-up” copy of the 2011 Edition with all changes clearly marked.
In additional to new ride-on requirements noted above, the committee highlights updates that include:
- Issues involving batteries, including lithium ion batteries.
- Requirements for materials and toys that could expand if swallowed.
- Updates on projectiles and impact hazards.
- Microbiological requirements.
- New tests for magnets.
- Clarification of heavy elements requirements for toy substrate materials.
One important feature of ASTM F963 is the age factor. The standard is for children under the age of 14, but many requirements are narrowed to address abilities of children at additional age ranges. So you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the target audience for your product when using this document.
Now to get a copy of the new Edition. Use an authorized distributor of the ASTM standards — Document Center Inc. We provide the ASTM standards at the same price as ASTM. Order at our webstore, www.document-center.com, to get your copy and any other ASTM publication you may need. Here’s a link to the order page for ASTM F963 for your convenience.
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