At 3 to 7 months of age, babies start growing their teeth. During this time, they need to constantly chew on different objects to soothe the pressure generated in their gums as the teeth come out, while strengthening their oral muscles to be able to eat and speak properly as they grow older. Products such as teethers and pacifiers are thus specially designed to relieve the stress through letting the child chew the toy.
However, putting small objects into an infant’s mouth is always a risk. If the teether is not designed well, it carries the potential threat of coming loose or breaking in the child’s mouth. This results in small pieces being stuck in the mouth or the throat, which can lead to severe injuries or even asphyxiation. Moreover, the materials that the teether is made of can comprise of many harmful chemicals that are toxic or disruptive to the baby’s hormonal levels, even in tiny doses.
As a parent, are you willing to take the risk of buying products which may result in health problems for your child?
What does having EN 71 and EN 1400 certifications imply?
This is where the EN 71 and EN1400 regulations come in. The European Standard EN 71 and EN 1400 set by the European Committee for Standardization, is a set of different categories of legally binding safety standards for all toys and soothers sold in the EU. These are one of the hardest certifications to attain for toy and soothing equipment manufacturers all around the world, and products which have passed the required tests are considered to be top-tier toys and soothers.
There are two main components to the EN 71 and EN 1400 tests: physical safety and chemical safety. Let us briefly run through each of the categories and some of the regulations involved.
Section EN 71-1 and EN 1400-2 regulates the durability and safety of toys. For mouth-actuated toys, three different tests are performed in quick succession: the soaking test, torque test, and tension test. Following these tests, any detached parts (or the whole toy if no parts are detached) are tested using the small parts cylinder, which eliminates toys that produce small parts with a choking hazard.
Passing this test ensures that the teether meets the stringent requirement for excessive wear and tear after prolonged periods of being chewed on. Not only is this important from a safety aspect, it also implies the toy can thus last longer, saving you money in the long run.
EN 71-3, 9, 10, 11, 12 and EN 1400-3 regulate the permissible chemical compositions of the items being sold, as well as their migration limits. Especially considering that children will be putting the teethers into their mouths, there is a sizable risk of ingesting harmful substances if the teether is not properly certified.
In particular, n-nitrosamines and n-nitrosatable substances may be present in common teethers as an impurity resulting from the production of elastomers, which are rubbery synthetic materials that are frequently used to make teethers. Most n-nitrosamines are genotoxic carcinogens — in other words, they have a tendency to cause cancer by directly altering the genetic material of cells!
Without proper treatment of the material, these dangerous chemicals could be swallowed by the infant, resulting in debilitating side effects. The EN 71 and EN 1400 certification makes sure that harmful chemicals such as these and many others will not enter the child’s body in any way.
Not all children toys, teethers and soothers carry the EN 71 and EN 1400 certifications as the higher material requirements and third party laboratory testing raise the cost of production and lowers the profits for manufacturers. Only the best and most ethical company that are not looking to make a quick buck will care to comply with these regulations. These safety marks can be found on the product information section of the product packaging of compliant products.
Your child's safety is of the utmost importance. Now that you understand more about the EN 71 and EN 1400 European Safety Standards for toys and soothers, always insist on purchasing product with these safety marks! Saving pennies by getting an inferior product without these safety certifications is detrimental to your little ones' health and safety and may cost more in the long run.
Evorie’s teethers and pacifiers are designed with the your little one's best interest in mind, complying with the EU food grade certifications as well as the EN 71 and EN 1400 respectively. This is in line with our belief of us taking care of everything, so mothers can enjoy every moment of their raising their child, knowing that Evorie's products are safe, durable, and child-friendly.