Are Loved Befores safe for children?
Please feel free to reach out with any further questions
Soft toys which have been manufactured to safety standards acceptable in the UK will have an attached CE label. UKCA labels have been introduced post-Brexit, but this is too new to affect most of the cuddly toys that come to Loved Before, and the CE label is still officially considered an acceptable safety mark. These labels also warn about any additional issues relating to that toy’s use. For instance, unsuitability for children under a particular age. Soft toys without a valid CE or UKCA label are not suitable for use by children under the age of 14. We strongly advise against buying them for a home where children younger than that may be able to get hold of them.
Whilst the great majority of cuddly toys we offer do have CE labels, some were made before these labels were introduced. But don’t worry, ‘toys’ which (for that or any other reason) are unsafe for children will always be clearly marked with a warning. This will be shown under the Loved Before’s photo, with the word WARNING in capital letters, just under their story. A similar warning will be repeated under that toy’s ‘product’ tab. Where items have a CE label which gives any safety warnings, we will highlight these. Just to be extra-careful, in cases where the CE label is damaged or not completely legible, we treat the toy as having no valid label and being unsafe for children.
As well as checking labels, we closely examine every Loved Before, before it leaves HQ. On occasions we will list a well-loved cuddly toy which is in some way broken or non-functioning. As with the older, pre-CE labelling toys these will not be suitable for children, but we offer them for adoption because as soft toys lovers ourselves, we understand how appealing these ‘retired’ toys will be to many adults. Cuddly toys of this sort will only ever be sold through the website (or specialist collectors events), where clear written warnings will leave buyers clear about the toy’s condition and its unsuitability for children.
We sometimes offer Loved Befores in situations where adopters would not always have the chance to see website warnings. This would apply for instance to the toys offered in our pop-up shops, and to pre-release agreements made via social media. You can be confident that LB’s offered for adoption outside our website will always have undamaged and legible CE labels, and will have been carefully checked to make sure we can find no feature creating a potential risk to children.
No cuddly toy will leave Loved Before HQ with any visible tear in its covering, or any part which we believe has started to come loose. We can’t of course guarantee that toy coverings will never get torn or that parts won’t eventually become loose at some point after you have adopted your Loved Before. So just as you would do with any other toy, it will be sensible to keep an eye on their condition, and to use your judgement about whether their use may one day need to be restricted, or more closely supervised. And (just as would apply to a cuddly toy bought new from a shop) childcare professionals advise that children under the age of 12 months should not sleep with any soft toys, to reduce the risk of suffocation or accidents.