The March 2010 issue of ISO Focus+ – the magazine of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) – presents concrete examples of how ISO International Standards can help improve child safety and well-being. It has been published to coincide with the 2010 United Nations Year of the Youth.

More than 2 000 children die every day as a result of an accident. Every year tens of millions more worldwide are taken to hospital with injuries that often leave them with lifelong disabilities, according to a 2008 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The report says that if proven measures were adopted everywhere, at least 1 000 children’s lives could be saved every day.

To draw attention to the role of standards in child injury prevention, ISO Focus+ is devoting the special report of its March 2010 edition to children.

With the theme of "Fit for kids", this special report is dedicated to the vast amount of work done by ISO to make the world safer for children. It brings together a portfolio of articles that showcase ISO standards as proven prevention measures, as well as areas of particular concern for children and how they are being addressed by ISO.

Articles cover an array of topics, from the safety of toys to child car seats, child-resistant packaging for dangerous goods, life jackets, child-resistant lighters and bicycle safety. It also describes ISO/IEC Guide 50, Safety aspects – Guidelines for child safety, which, if taken into account, can prevent many injuries to children, or at least reduce their severity. In addition, it includes a case study from the LEGO Group showcasing the benefits of using ISO standards for the company.

The March edition of ISO Focus+ also features an exclusive interview with the President of the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) , and the CEO of Funrise Toys, Arnie Rubin, who says, “Assuring the safety of children has always been our industry’s top priority. And because our products are designed specifically for children, we always hold ourselves to the highest possible standards. The development of globally relevant toy safety standards is a vitally important activity and one to which our industry is firmly committed."  

Arnie Rubin gives his views on the importance of ISO International Standards for the toy industry, including ISO 8124, which he refers to as "the cornerstone of the global toy safety network".

The toy industry President and CEO goes on to share his thoughts of the future, which he says, must be focused on aligning the various national and regional standards.  "The ISO technical committee on toy safety (ISO/TC 181) is spearheading an effort to lead future alignment efforts.  

"This will be beneficial to all – not only from the perspective of an improved safety system that will better protect children in all nations, but also for the smaller and mid-sized manufacturers who are just entering the global marketplace."

As an added bonus for ISO Focus+ readers, the March edition features ISOPLAY Pursuit – a first-ever board game in ISO's magazine – designed to help readers discover the big, wide world of International Standards. Brush-up on your ISO knowledge and get ready to play – and don't forget to have fun! Tell us how you did at isofocus+@iso.org!

ISO Focus+, March 2010

Fit for kids