Child friendly: The smart business guide to promotional products for kids

There are two rules for successfully creating children’s products: safety and FUN. We’ll help you nail both.

If you want to delight a young audience with promotional merchandise, there are five key considerations to keep in mind. Working through these is second nature to the Inck team because we have spent years coming up with fantastic goodies that kids just love.

When you collaborate with us, we’ll work through the following list with you:

1. Repeat after us: “Safety first”

Safety, safety, safety. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has stringent standards to ensure the safety of toys and promotional items intended for children. These regulations cover aspects from small parts that could pose choking hazards to the use of non-toxic materials.

A number of Australian companies have unfortunately been left red-faced, with costly recalls due to safety oversights.  An example of a recall hit the press recently, making headlines because items meant for children posed a risk of causing choking, suffocation or death to a child if small parts dislodged into their mouths.

A safety recall can be hugely distressing and damaging for your brand. This is why you need to work with a merch specialist with the skills and experience you can trust. Whoever you nominate to take responsibility in this area must be able to explain how and why the products they source for you meet safety standards before you trust them with an order.

Take it from us: Ask lots of questions and chat about a guarantee before you sign on to work with someone.


2. Compliance counts

Safety First Image

The ACCC has a list of guidelines to ensure products for babies and kids are safe and compliant. These include standards for durability, material safety and design.

For example, items intended for children under three years old must not have any small parts that could come off and be swallowed. There are requirements around anything inflatable and items with small particles made from polystyrene or a similar synthetic material. Then you have to think about tags and product information: rules also apply to the sharing of safety details related to a product.

It’s easy to think, “How hard can it be?” when it comes to kid-friendly merch. But if you’re not familiar with the ACCC’s requirements, applying them all can quickly become overwhelming. Inck will come to the rescue in two ways: first, we have a proven track record. Second, we’re really well connected to trusted overseas manufacturers who have an in-depth understanding of annd commitment to Australian safety regulations.


3. Beware of button batteries

Beware of Batteries Image

This one is worth mentioning as a stand-alone. Button batteries are little and shiny… they pose a big risk to young children if swallowed because they can cause internal burns.

According to the ACCC, in Australia, one child a month is seriously injured after swallowing or inserting a button battery, with some of them sustaining lifelong injuries. Because of this, there are strict design standards for any product containing button batteries.

Products that may be recalled because of battery non-compliance:

  • have battery compartments that are not secure
  • have packaging that is not child-resistant
  • are poor quality and release button batteries when dropped or broken
  • have spare batteries provided loose in product packaging

When choosing a battery-operated toy or gadget promotional merch intended for children and adults, ask your supplier about their compliance with regulations in relation to batteries. If you’re worried, choose another option and don’t go down this road.

We’re happy to provide advice about battery-operated options and talk you through some alternatives.


4. The fun part: Look and feel


Little girl holding a toy and xmas merch products floating around herOf course, it’s not all about safety. Once you have confirmed that you will receive compliant products from a trusted manufacturer, it’s time to have some fun and be creative while considering your audience’s little hands and minds.

Promotional products for kids should be engaging, age-appropriate, and educational where possible. For example, consider items that promote creativity, such as colouring books and art supplies, or those that encourage physical activity, like sports equipment. Don’t forget about the seasons; kids love anything to do with the Easter Bunny, Halloween or Christmas.

Ask your supplier about the intended age group for their products and ensure they have been designed with the appropriate developmental level in mind.

We have some fantastic case studies to share with you. These showcase simple but hugely appealing kid-friendly merch that has been such a hit, we’ve been called back to recreate the success for several years running. Message Inck to find out more!


5. Supplier experience and reliability

When designing and sourcing safe and engaging promotional merchandise for children or people of any age, it’s important for you to know you’ll get what you pay for, when you need it. When the Inck team works on a custom design for a child-friendly product, we bring the benefits of:

  • Supplying a prototype so you can hold and feel your item (or hand it to a little friend to test)
  • Strong connections with reliable manufacturers
  • Managing timelines for shipping and delivery
  • Making it easier to submit subsequent orders if necessary
  • Providing personalised service and support

At Inck, we are never afraid to answer questions about safety and quality when it comes to promotional products for children and are happy to showcase past examples of our work. Talk to us about a one-of-a-kind creation or our top catalogue picks for products that kids get super excited about.

Want to discuss a quality promotional product for kids? We’re filled with ideas. Contact the team at Inck today. 


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