The TÜV also checks how much my cuddly toy can withstand.
Toy tester: This is how we test a remote-controlled car
11. May 2012
Companies often don't put their toys in stores just like that. They have it checked out beforehand so they know: Our toys are safe. Kids playing with it can't hurt themselves on it, for example.
Politicians are also discussing new rules on toy safety at the moment. The toy tests are made by TÜV Rheinland. Ralf Diekmann works for. He told dpa news for children how such a test works.
What can be dangerous about toys?
Ralf Diekmann: "There may be parts that can be swallowed, for example the button eyes on a teddy bear. It can be dangerous for small children. For older children, it is important that there are no harmful substances in the toy, for example on the painted wood. These are dangerous substances that can lead to illnesses just by touching the toy."
How the TÜV inspects toys?
Ralf Diekmann: "Take a remote-controlled car, for example. When such a car comes to us, the first thing we do is take a photo. Because we want to write a report. In which it says what problems there are with the car. Then we see if it has sharp corners and edges. A child must not hurt himself on it."
What happens next?
Ralf Diekmann: "Then we check whether there are any dangerous pollutants on the rubber parts, for example the tires. The rubber parts are examined in the chemistry lab. They are cut into small pieces. Then chemicals come on it, which are like our sweat. The mixture goes into an analyzer. This tells us what pollutants are in the rubber. And we test what gets into the body with the sweat."
Is the test then over?
Ralf Diekmann: "No. We also look at the accumulators. They must be well built. Otherwise they can be broken if they fall down. Then there might be a short circuit. The batteries could get hot. Even start to burn. And we also check the remote control."
Why is it important to test the remote control??
Ralf Diekmann: "Funny things happen: For example, the remote control for the toy car opens the neighbor's garage. Because the remote control for the garage sends the same signals. This must not happen, of course. It would also be stupid if the remote control interferes with the radio of the police or fire department."
And what do you do with the remote control?
Ralf Diekmann: "The remote control also goes to a laboratory. With antennas we catch the signals. On the computer, we can then see what radiation the remote control is emitting, whether it is interfering with other signals, and how far the remote control extends."
What else do you do with the toy?
Ralf Diekmann: "For example, we have a machine that opens and closes scooters many times. To see if it still works after many times. And we also have a traction engine. The foot of a teddy bear, for example, is clamped in place, and a clamp is applied to the eye.