Before you purchase toys for young children, think safety first with these helpful tips.
Check age suitability
Always give your children age appropriate toys.
Infants and toddlers are particularly at risk from toys with small parts that break away, because they have not yet fully developed their natural gagging reflex.
Choose toys that are well made
Toys that are hard-wearing are safer for your child and unlikely to release small bits that become choking hazards.
Steer clear of toys that have sharp edges.
Toy size matters
Don’t give children younger than 3 toys with small or removable parts. These can be swallowed or lodged in the windpipe and create a choking hazard.
As a general guide, a choking hazard is anything with small parts that are less than 31mm in diameter and 57mm long.
Remember, the smaller the child, the bigger the toy.
Avoid toys with small magnets
Toys with small magnets can cause serious internal damage if swallowed.
Be aware of long strings
Strings over 30cm can wrap around a child’s neck and create a strangulation hazard.
Be careful of elastic strings as they can stretch to dangerous lengths.
Secure battery compartments
Battery-operated toys should have battery cases that are secured by screws or other means so that kids cannot pry them open.
Batteries and battery fluid pose serious risks, including choking, internal bleeding, and chemical burns.
Button batteries are very hazardous and can kill a child if ingested.
Avoid toy boxes with heavy lids
The lid can fall on unprotected heads and fingers causing serious injury.