Playing By the Rules
Lead and phthalates are big concerns in children's drinkware as well, but possible choking hazards, sharp edges or points and other dangers also should be evaluated to conform to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Any found hazards would require labeling. Anything from a small carabiner to an unattached cap could be the reason a product isn't compliant for a certain age grade. "Our product development has one of these choking hazard measurement cups, and they will [use it] when they're looking at products or playing around with it and considering, 'Could it be a children's product?' ... [to] avoid any choking issues," Kim Collins, director of marketing for Crown Products, Mobile, Ala., said.
Crown's Paws N Claws Flat Bottle endured a lot of testing before it was available for sale. It has a large carabiner and tethered cap, and the supplier even had the plastic sealing ring removed to ensure there were no issues. "We had to have [the manufacturer] remove that sealing ring because it didn't keep it from not being sealed, but it could come loose, and we told them we don't want it because it's a choking hazard," Cynthia Steele, Crown's compliance officer, said.
It's also helpful to keep end-users' other children in mind. Since many consider their pets as their children, Sun Coast's policy is to treat all pet items, including drinkware, as children's products too. "For pets' products, I usually consider them a children's item because there's very little guidance available on it," John said. "But from my experience so far, our distributors have given us guidance to treat them as a children's product, and that's kind of the approach we have used so far."
Across the Board
This is just a brief overview of what additional obstacles you could face through CPSIA if these products also are deemed a children's product. If the product is determined to be a toy as well, it would be subject to even more CPSIA regulations. "That's the main thing we'll look at—does this have play factor? Will a child be attracted to it? Because even though an item isn't made for a kid doesn't mean a kid's not going to want to play with it," Steele said.