"Child appealing" household appliances

In January 2022, the A15:2021 update of EN 60335-1:2012-general standard for all household appliances was published. The most considerable change concerns paragraph 22 titled “Construction,” which deals, precisely, with the architecture of household appliances. In the previous version, the standard merely imposed the obligation not to make electrical appliances that could remind one of a toy. The characteristics that a product would have to have in order for it to be perceived as a toy were, according to the standard, related to the shape of the product itself or or the presence of decorations.

However, compliance with the old Clause 22 was verified in a very subjective way: today, however, this concept is more clearly and comprehensively defined, although there remain gray areas that need to be analyzed in detail. In short, among the various evaluation criteria is whether the product has been decorated through the use of faces, cartoon-like characters or similar images or that it possesses a shape that represents animals, characters, people or scale models.

Technical criteria

Other technical criteria for defining a “child appealing” device include at least two of the following:

    nonfunctional use of light, i.e., the light emitted by the luminaire is not intended to illuminate an area or to signal the status of the luminaire, but is for playful purposes.
    nonfunctional use of sound, i.e. the sound emitted is not identified as the classic “beeps” with which the user is accustomed, but there is music to entertain.
    nonfunctional use of motion, i.e., the absence of some movement of the device does not affect its functionality.

Difference between toys and appliances

It is important to note the distinction between “child-appealing appliances” and “appliance-like toys,” such as a child's kitchen. An appliance-like toy does not fall under the scope of the mentioned standard. In fact, it falls under the “toys” directive 2009/48/EC and the EN 79 series of standards.

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