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Key Learnings from 2019 EU Recalls: CHOKING HAZARD — EXPANDABLE TOYS

Learn more about the key recalls for expandable toys.

Key Learnings from 2019 EU Recalls: CHOKING HAZARD — EXPANDABLE TOYS

August 18, 2020

Why it’s dangerous?

Such products may pose a risk of choking if they are put into the mouth and swallowed by children. When the toy expands, it can cause fatal occlusion of the respiratory tract of small children or blockage of the gut.

Specific risk

The expanding materials in toys or components of toys pose a risk if they can fit entirely in the small part cylinder either before or after testing in accordance with generic abuse tests, and expand more than 50% in any dimension when tested accordingly to European Standard EN 71–1.
EN 71–1 focuses on the mechanical and physical traits of a toy by evaluating if any of those features could potentially injure a child while they are playing or handling the toy.


Materials that expand excessively after soaking in water for 72 hours are not permitted as small toys or small parts within any toys (regardless of age-grading) either before or after torque, tension, drop, impact and compression testing. Abuse tests are applied to the expanding materials before the soaking test, regardless of the intended age range of the toy. If the expanding material is enclosed by a material intended to break during soaking, the requirement in EN 71–1 shall also be fulfilled when the test is performed after removal of the breakable material.

Suggested testing package

To evaluate the choking hazard related to expandable toys, the European Standard to apply is EN 71–1, Safety of toys — Part 1: Mechanical and physical properties.

To know more download SAFETY OF TOYS — Key learnings from 2019 EU recalls


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Overview reports of SAFETY GATE notifications, published free of charge in English on, © European Union, 2005–2020. The official contact points of the Member and EFTA-EEA States provide the information published in these weekly overviews. Under the terms of Annex II.10 to the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC) responsibility for the information provided lies with the notifying party. The Commission does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.


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