First of all – I hope this finds you all well in these unprecedented and difficult times.

As you would expect, I have been keeping a close eye on developments as the situation regarding Covid-19 as it continues to evolve. I know that for many of you, this will be a worrying and uncertain time and that you will have concerns and questions about different avenues as the situation unfolds.

I wanted to make a statement, touching on toy hygiene and operational considerations as a self-employed crafts woman.

Hygienic as standard

As part of Hellion toys day to day operations, I take toy safety and CE certification very seriously. As part of conforming to the rigorous standards of the CE mark, all toys are cleaned before leaving the workshop. It is part of the regulations that toys must  be clean and hygienic before being sent. Be assured products used to clean are environmentally conscious, gentle and do not leave behind any unwanted residues. Toys are then wrapped in tissue and sticker sealed before packing.

Handling packages

Public Health England (PHE) has advised that people receiving parcels are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19). However, Scientists have found that coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is detectable for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results tests suggest that people can potentially acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects.

Our toys arrive sealed in tissue and packed in a durable cardboard box. I recommend when an order arrives, please remove the outer packaging, wipe contact surfaces and wash your hands before opening your sealed toys.

Cleaning your Toys

All toys intended for children under 36 months should be possible to clean regularly. Younger children who put toys in the mouth, may need their toys cleaned more frequently, up to weekly, than those just handling them. Knowing this, was the key reason I have ensured any toy leaving my workshop is properly finished. I use a water based, gentle and vegan varnish that seals the toy beautifully.

My toys can be wiped clean with sanitiser, even flash submerged in soapy water, wiped thoroughly dry and left to air overnight.  I hope this helps allay any concerns you have as I know questions have arisen about cleaning toys. Please note however, my advice above might not fit other brands, especially open unfinished wooden toys that are just oiled. Those toys could be damaged by light water contact, especially if the toy is dyed. Please check with them directly regarding how to clean their toys.

Turnaround times

Firstly to reassure everyone I am still working. I am technically self-isolating due to an underlying health condition, but with a workshop based at home, i can get out to work. Working with a pre-schooler at home however, will likely cause a longer turnaround time for orders to be made. To try and be transparent on how long I am now expecting something to be taken to be made now, the website is now set up to provide you an estimated date on each toy for when you order. This is a working estimate. I would ask however for flexibility on these dates still. Primarily due to the next issue, which is postal delays

Postal Delays

We primarily use Royal mail for all our post and are expecting delays to occur. Royal mail has been providing regular updates on their website regarding international postage and delays.

https://www.royalmail.com/coronavirus

In the UK you can also sign up to alerts and updates about service in your area too

https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/webforms/serviceupdates

Hopfully these resources will help us together, to track your parcels and keep reasonable expectations in light of the current situation.

How can we help?

Like many parents and guardians in the UK, I am now working from home and have a child at home too. Its a juggle many of us have face while being deeply concerned about the stability of our employment situations. To try and help on one front, I have made all the existing Educational Printables in my website shop free. I have furthermore made plans to add new rich content in that section moving forwards. I feel like this is something I can do that is actually very useful for everyone.

#hellionacademy

You can see these printables in action online.

My brand reps have been super at showing off the many activities they are doing with their children to keep them busy. If you are in need of some inspiration, do check in with the hashtag #hellionacademy or look at my Facebook or Instagram stories. My community engagement lead

Clare has set up a friendly Facebook group up for the first time called Hellion Hideout too, which show what other parents are doing also. You can join here

https://www.facebook.com/groups/138430420935729/

Donations

I am hoping to keep all existing and new printables free, until at least the children are back in school.  The online store does cost money to run and I pay webspace and business overheads connected to hosting files online. So if you can manage to, you can help keep the printables up and free for as long as possible by making a donation to help at:

https://www.paypal.me/helliontoys

This self-employed stretched working mum will be very grateful