Double Stitched Tails and Tweaked Giraffe Ears - A Toy Safety Workshop

Soft toys made by disabled people in HHH Rehab and Training unit in Karnataka and by women in Prowess in Tamil Nadu are growing ever more popular with MESH’s European buyers who of course want to make sure the toys are quite safe.

The European directives regarding toy safety are littered with technical jargon and matters that do not directly affect MESH’s suppliers so MESH asked if both groups would like to attend a short workshop to look at those directives and test some toys.

Leaders and artisans from each group met in Hubli with Jacky Bonney from MESH to discuss the implications of the directives. We also looked briefly at the idea of universal design which makes every product good for all people.

We tested toys with weights and by trying to pull them apart. We looked at the impact of any parts that pulled off. We tried setting them on fire and washing them after making them quite filthy.

The artisans identified steps to make the toys safer and we all looked at the labelling requirements for both the toys and the packaging.

Better toys? Probably! Certainly issues of toy safety are now fresh again in everyone’s mind.

Thanks to IM Soir for funding this workshop through MESH's Design and Product Development Project.