Effective June 1, 2020, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) updated its age-grading guidelines for toys, childcare articles, and other children’s products. This document, Age Determination Guidelines: Relating Consumer Product Characteristics to the Skills, Play, Behaviors, and Interests of Children, will supersede the 2002 document, Age Determination Guidelines: Relating Children’s Ages to Toy Characteristics and Play Behavior.
These guidelines provide age determinations for consumer products. Characteristics of each product are matched to the skills, interests, and play behaviors of children in each age group. The results of these age determinations directly impact the depth and type of safety testing consumer products in these categories must undergo to identify potential hazards.
The updates in age determination guidelines include:
- The addition of a new category, “Technology Play,” to reflect the growing popularity of electronic toys and smart devices,
- Updates and additions to children’s basic abilities and preferences based on new data,
- New toys,
- Age group changes to existing toys, and
- Changes and additions to other children’s products and childcare articles.
Age determination is an important step in developing, marketing, and labeling consumer products for children. Age determination categories are directly related to product safety and provide consumers with important and informed guidance in selecting age-appropriate products for children.
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