Toys and Child Development
Play is a child's "work" and toys are the tools children use in play. Toys do more than entertain and keep children occupied. Properly chosen, they should aid a child's physical, mental, social and emotional development. Play is universally recognized as a vital part of learning and growing and, because toys are such an important ingredient of play, they are invaluable to a child's development into a mature, confident adult.No less today than through the history of civilization, toys reflect the times and cultures and provide children with the tools that help them relate to the world in which they live. Today's toy manufacturers keep pace with the rapidly changing world and provide youngsters with correspondingly appropriate playthings for their enjoyment and to challenge their creativity and imagination
with governments, standards bodies and industry to improve and harmonize toy safety requirements around the world.
ICTI's membership has been actively involved in the development of an international toy safety standard through the International Standardization Organization. While the ICTI and ISO standards are supported by the membership, they cannot actually supersede the safety standards, regulations and testing procedures of local or national governments or agencies which are applicable to any product to which these standards apply.
The following general provisions are assumed in connection with toy safety standards:
Toys are designed and manufactured for particular categories of children. Their characteristics are related to the age and stage of development of children and their use presupposes certain aptitudes.
Apart from the risks that are self-evident and inherent in the use of some toys, and assuring that they are used in the manner intended, they should not present any risk for the category of children for which they are intended.
Accidents and incidents are frequently due to a toy being given to a child for whom it is not intended or being used for a purpose other than for which it was designed. Great care should therefore be taken when choosing a toy or game; account should be taken of the mental and physical development and temperament of the child who will be using it; and the requirements of the standard do not release parents and educators from their responsibility of watching over the child while he or she is playing.
The requirements in the standard, which apply to new toys, take into account the fact that safety devices should withstand some wear and tear. As a result, the persons in charge of the child should ensure that the toy can be left in the child's hands.