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Understanding Tracking Label Requirements For Children's Products

September 18, 2018

Although 85% of shoppers said their purchase decisions are informed by reading a product package while shopping, there are some components of a label we may not pay close attention to. Still, in the United States, countless consumer products are required to have detailed information listed as part of their label design.

For example:

  • Pharmaceutical labels, for example, need to contain possible medical side effects, chemical information, and dosage recommendations.
  • Food and beverage labels are required to feature nutritional information, manufacturer information, and alcohol content when applicable.
  • Toxic and hazardous chemical labels must have safety information, chemical data, and other warnings.

Most importantly perhaps, in all cases the government requires safety information on the label to be in the predominant language of sale.

These requirements were put into place to protect and inform consumers by ensuring that these products are safe to use.

Children's Products and The CPSIA

Beginning in 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) required manufacturers to include specific information on their unique labels if they were intended for children ages 12 and younger. The requirements apply to any and all consumer products designed or intended for children under the age of 13. If you manufacture or import a children's consumer product, you and your labeling companies must adhere to these regulations as defined by the CPSIA.

These regulations include tracking labels to ensure these children's products can be identified for the sake of safety.

These permanent tracking marks must be included on all unique labels for children's products. They must be affixed to the product and its packaging.

These tracking marks are intended to serve product identification purposes. They should allow the manufacturer to discern the product's creation date, the location in which it was manufactured, identifying data like batch and/or run numbers, and any other information the manufacturer deems necessary to find the source of the product. This mark can also be used by the end consumer to identify the manufacturer, where and when the product was made, and other useful knowledge.

The CPSIA explains that inclusion of this information will allow both consumers and officials to facilitate fast and successful product recalls for children's products.

Keep in mind that these regulations are purposefully broad. They are meant to encompass toys, of course, but also clothing, shoes, furniture, carriers, strollers, and other products.

In addition to any labeling included in the product's packaging, the product itself must also carry a permanent and distinguishing mark that contains the aforementioned information. Companies that manufacture or import children's products of any kind must work with their labeling companies carefully to ensure compliance.

Of course, tracking information is not the only component of labeling that children's product manufacturers need to be concerned about. There are also numerous other warning labels that businesses need to include on the packaging of these products intended for young members of the public. For example, when products pose a choking hazard, it's essential for these businesses to work with labeling companies to ensure that those regulations are followed, too.

While one would hope that there would never be any need for a product recall, it's vital that pertinent tracking and production information be included, in order to allow for fast identification needed to keep consumers and their children safe.

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