Small Parts Testing
The small parts regulation exists to prevent children from choking on, inhaling or swallowing small parts (sometimes also referred to as “small objects”). It applies to toys, components of toys, and other articles intended for children under three years of age which are small parts. Components which are small parts may be loose or able to be detached by design, or may be able to broken off, following certain use and abuse testing procedures. Refer to the link below to 16 CFR 1501. Section 1501.2 includes the list of specific products to which the requirements apply:
16 CFR 1501
16 CFR 1500.50-.53
ASTM F963-17 Section 4.6
Small Parts Determination:
To determine if an object is a small part, a special calibrated test fixture is used (pictured above). The test fixture tube was designed to approximate the throat size of a child up to three years of age. It is 1.25 inches in diameter, and its depth is 1.00 inches at its shallow side and 2.25 inches, at its deepest. Any object which fits fully into the tube, without being compressed, is considered a small part.
This regulation bans products intended for children under three years of age, which contain small parts. As mentioned above, the small parts may be the entire toy itself, a detachable component of the toy, or a piece which breaks off as a result of simulated use and abuse tests required for the product.
Several exemptions from the regulation exist, which can be found in 16 CFR 1501.3. Some examples of exempt items are balloons, books, modeling clay, crayons and other writing utensils.