In this section
Toys can provide children with hours of fun and developmental stimulation. Most toys serve some purpose, for example to entertain, educate, comfort, develop skills or provide exercise. Children benefit from toys that challenge, comfort and excite them.
Providing your child with good quality toys will ensure that they get the most benefit from their toys and that the toys will last for years to come. However, some toys can be dangerous or poorly constructed, which can result in serious injuries, including choking and strangulation.
Toys sold in Australia need to meet safety standards (AS/NZS ISO 8124); however, you should not assume all toys for sale are safe. Be aware that toys sold in cheap variety stores or in markets are less likely to meet safety standards than those sold in large toy shops and department stores.
When buying toys:
Be especially careful when buying second-hand toys. They may be old and worn and likely to break, and they probably won't have the packaging, which gives important safety information. Steer clear of second-hand toys with flaking paint – older toys in particular may even have lead in the
paint, which is toxic.
Christmas holidays or birthdays are peak times for toy-related injuries, as children receive and try out new toys. Supervise young children while they are learning how to use their new toys, until they are confident and capable.
Other tips to ensure that your child’s toys don’t lead to injury:
What sort of toys are likely to have button batteries?
When checking toys, anything that lights up, has moving
parts or makes sounds is likely to contain a button battery. Check that the
battery is properly secure, and if in doubt, dispose of the toy appropriately.
How can I find out which toys have been recalled due to
You may find product recall notices in newspapers, or
displayed in the shops that sold the product, and some companies use social
media to let customers know about product recalls. However, these recall
notices can be easy to miss. All product recalls in Australia are listed on the
ACCC’s Product Safety Australia website, on the Recalls page - look under
‘Babies and kids’.
My child loves ‘squishy’ toys. Are they safe?
Squishy toys were recently banned in Denmark,
after the Danish Environmental Protection Agency found 12 types of squishy toys
sold in their country contained harmful levels of chemicals. To date, no
problems have been found in squishy toys for sale in Australia. If you are
concerned, visit Product Safety Australia’s Recalls page. If you want
to purchase squishy toys, avoid buying squishy toys from markets or cheap
variety stores, and check on the packaging that the toy meets Australian
Standards. Do not give squishy toys to young children, and do not allow your
child to place them in their mouth.
Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital Safety Centre. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.
Reviewed October 2018.
Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.