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Toys must meet federal testing, certification requirements

Toys made and sold in New Jersey and the rest of the United States are subject to the rules of the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC. These rules are in place to make sure that toys which ultimately fall in to hands of children are safe for their use.

One of the more recent rules CPSC adopted just became mandatory on toy manufacturers as of last spring. Under these new rules, toymakers who want to market a toy for the use of children under 12 have to put the toy through a series of rigorous tests to make sure the toys are safe and meet the CPSC's rules.

While manufacturers have been voluntarily putting their toys through these tests for some time, they are now required.

Moreover, the new regulation requires manufacturers to let an outside engineering or other firm, approved by the CPSC, to conduct its own independent tests. Aside from giving the toy one more round of scrutiny before it hits the market, requiring independent testing also prevents companies from giving in to the temptation to see their products more favorably than they should when it comes to safety.

Furthermore, the regulation requires manufacturers to certify that their toys meet applicable safety rules and standards.

Hopefully, these standards will help parents and their children stay safe while they are playing with toys. Those companies who choose to ignore them or try to get around them may face fines and other penalties. If their products hurt someone, they may also face products liability lawsuits, especially if it turns out their testing of the product was perfunctory or otherwise flawed.

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