SAFEGUARDS | SoftlinesNO. 059/20
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) age determination guidelines provide information about children’s toys, skills, play behavior, and interests for different age groups, and how this relates to toy characteristics.
This is important information for toy designers and manufacturers. Age determination is very important as it is closely related to the safety of a toy. Children go through a number of developmental stages where their skills and abilities are constantly changing.
The previous 2002 guidelines were revised to introduce new types of toys and children’ products. In addition, consumers’ purchasing behavior and children’s access to toys have changed. The guidance is based on research and actual observation of children at play.
The 2020 version of age determination guidelines is based on seven topics:
- Exploratory and Practice Play
- Building Play
- Pretend & Role Play
- Game & Activity Play
- Sports, Recreational, & Outdoor Play
- Media Play
- Educational & Academic Play
An additional topic on Technology Play has also been introduced to reflect the growing importance of smart electronic toys, especially as the percentage of children using mobile phones and tablets has rapidly grown.
The guidelines are available online. The CPSC has announced that they will start using the new guidelines starting June 1, 2020.
The CPSC age determination guidelines have also been used to develop the global toy guidelines ISO/TR 8124-8:2016. ISO is working on amending these guidelines to keep in line with the latest version of the CPSC age determination guidelines.
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