Toy Packaging is Not All Fun and Games

Mon May 06 2019 /
Kevin Keigley

Toy Packaging is Not All Fun and Games
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When designing toy packaging for children, there are certain regulations that have to be followed. These regulations are in place to protect children from choking hazards and other dangers. Furthermore, there are many regulatory rules in regards to products that could be potentially harmful to children. This is not only in regard to proper labeling but also for child-resistant packaging.

Before you can begin the process of packaging a toy, you need to conduct an age grading. The intended age group of children who will use a toy determines the type of labeling and regulations that are required. This works by matching the attributes of the toy to the abilities of a child. The CPSC recommends the “Age Determination Guidelines” which are organized in 4 categories:

  • Play Categories

  • Toy Subcategories

  • Age Groups

  • Toys Characteristics

Along with various labeling (which can be found in our Packaging Regulations Course), packaging and toys for children must go through product testing. Some products may not seem to contain small parts, but if damage occurs, they could break in a way that produces small parts. For this reason, there are certain tests that have to be carried out to determine what labels need to be put on the package.

  • Drop Test

  • Tension Test

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Toys come from all around the world, and regulations can get confusing as you go from country to country. Do not assume that your supplier knows what regulations apply to your product and what labels need to be on the package. With this in mind, it is recommended that you create your own labeling files with very clear instructions. Do not leave anything at the discretion of your supplier. This means providing dimensions, JPEG files, EPS files, files that show position (literally, everything). Incorrect labeling could mean your product is pulled from store shelves and a great loss of profit.

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Children can be very curious at times and get into things they shouldn’t. For this reason, there are packaging regulations in place with child-resistant features. These regulations came about through the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) which was enacted in 1970 by President Nixon. The act came into play because about 500 deaths a year were reported due to children 5 and under accessing chemicals. A package that is child-resistant must be made in such a way that it is difficult for children 5 years and younger to open it in a reasonable time. To pass regulation, 80% of the children tested should not be able to get into the package during the first 10 minutes of testing. For adults being tested, they should be able to open the package in less than 5 minutes and be able to close and secure the package as it was before.

Toys are a common item in a household, and there is a lot of work that goes into properly packaging them with the appropriate testing and labeling. Regular household products may cause harm to children if these items get into children’s hands. It is important to understand packaging regulations to help prevent harm to others and to prevent loss to your company in the event the products have to be pulled from the shelves.

To learn more about Packaging Regulations, visit

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