The Guyana Standard Specification for the Safety of toys and playthings GYS 234:2003 was specifically developed by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) to provide guidelines to importers, retailers and consumers on the safety requirements for toys and playthings intended for children. Toys and playthings are one of the commodities monitored by the GNBS under its Standards Compliance Programme and during this Christmas season, great emphasis will be placed on the monitoring of this commodity.
Importing and distributing toys and playthings that conform to the requirements of the Guyana Standard is necessary to avoid children coming in contact with those toys that are harmful to their health and safety, specifically in relation to harmful materials that some toys are made of, and inadequate labeling which does not inform users of caution to be taking during use.
The National standard specifies requirements for toxicological hazards which include criteria for deciding if a substance is non-toxic, a non-irritant, corrosive or a strong sensitizer. Other hazards, such as, mechanical hazards, inflammability hazards, hygienic hazard, electrical hazards, thermal hazards and simulated protective devices are addressed in the standard.
Further, precautionary instructions and warnings, requirements for the packaging and labeling, and inspection and testing procedures, which include preconditioning for shipping and storage, and requirements for normal use testing, abuse testing, impact testing, drop testing and bite testing etc. are also addressed in the standard.
Children can be protected against the use of unsafe toys and playthings if manufacturers follow the safety requirements for manufacturing as stipulated in the standard, and if manufacturers fail to adhere to these requirements, the standard can certainly guide importers, dealers and consumers when purchasing these items.
Therefore, with the fast approaching Christmas season, importers and retailers are urged to only distribute and sell toys and playthings that are meeting the quality and labeling requirements as stipulated in the National Standard. Parents are also urged to carefully read labels of toys and playthings and select those that are appropriate for their children, based on their ages.
For further information on this subject, call the GNBS on Telephone number: 219-0065 or visit the Bureau’s website: www.gnbsgy.org