As we progress further into the 21st century and the entertainment of children takes place even more so on an iPad or another electronic device, there was a time when activity toys were the primary source of enjoyment for children. Toys such as slides, swings, seesaws, or rocking toys as well as paddling pools on the hotter days were there for amusement around the family home. In a similar recollection to the enjoyment of running and playing on these toys, often there is a tragic accident which comes to mind.
Falling from a slide, getting hair stuck in a swing, or being on the losing end of a seesaw were all incidents many of us would like to forget, however they did happen. It is for this reason that the introduction of AS/NZS 8124.6:2016, Safety of toys – Part 6: Swings, slides and similar activity toys for indoor and outdoor family domestic use, has taken place and aims to put safety back in play.
The standard, AS/NZS 8124.6:2016, has been developed to outline requirements aimed at minimising the risk from some of the specific hazards associated with certain types of products when used in a domestic environment. The types of products covered by this standard include swings, slides, carousels, rocking toys, climbing frames and toddler swing seats bearing the mass one or more children. This standard also has a specific intention which is to cover those toys for domestic family use and for children under 14 years of age.
Ultimately, this standard gives suppliers the guidance to create toys and objects like slides and swings which bring enjoyment to the users but are also safe.
Basics for our benefit
Proving the benefit of this standard, in its commitment to child safety, is the example of the requirement for safety labelling to be in a visible, easily legible, understandable and indelible form. To put it in even more straightforward terms, in the case of AS/NZS 8124.6:2016 the benefit is a simple one – improving child safety.
Regardless of any shift towards electronic toys or video games, playing outside is still what children do; and while this continues, suppliers are going to keep finding new and innovative ways to provide the toys to keep children entertained when they play outside. It is in this space that Standards Australia seeks to provide comfort to the parents of today’s children by equipping manufacturers with the guidance to create the safe slides, swings, and seesaws to be enjoyed for many years to come.
This case study is available in PDF format.