EU Plans to Require Safety Warnings on Magnetic Toys

February 29, 2008

The European Union said it plans to require safety warnings on toys containing magnets due to concerns about the danger to children who swallow small magnetic components.

Under the rules, manufacturers would have to label toy boxes with a warning that magnetic parts are contained and instructing parents to seek immediate medical treatment if their children swallow the magnets.

Experts from the 27 EU nations have given their approval to the measure, which follows a series of accidents and high-profile product recalls. However, it is expected to take at least until June before there is final approval from capitals and the European Parliament.

“There is mounting evidence of the real injury that can be caused when tiny magnets end up in children’s mouths if they come loose and are swallowed,” said EU Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva. “The warning label will spell out clearly for parents the potentially serious risks and ensure extra vigilance.”

She said the EU was considering further measures to protect children from the dangers posed by magnets.

Some EU nations, including France, Germany and Sweden already have warnings on magnetic toys.

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