Kids Health Info

Toy Safety for Children

  • Toys can provide children with hours of fun and developmental stimulation. Toys can be chewed, bitten, pushed and pulled, while others are handled gently and kept well beyond childhood years. Children benefit from toys that challenge, comfort and excite them. Most toys serve some purpose, for example to entertain, educate, comfort, develop skills or provide exercise.

    Selecting the right toy ensures that children get the best out of their toys and that they will last for years to come. Unfortunately some toys can be dangerous, poorly constructed or inappropriate for the child’s age and skill level. More importantly, selecting the wrong toy can result in serious injuries, including choking and strangulation.

    There were 2,843 cases of toy-related injury to children aged 0-5 years presenting to Victorian hospital emergency departments from January 2002 to December 2007. An estimated 4 children per week in Australia present to an emergency department with a serious button battery related injury, after swallowing these small batteries.

    Aim to select quality toys appropriate to the age of the child. Some toys are not suitable for young children because they have small parts that provide a choking hazard. Inspect the toy to see whether it looks well designed and well made with no sharp edges, as sharp points can injure children. Check for choking hazards, especially small parts which can easily be put into the mouth, nose or ears. Check labels for age recommendations and instructions for use.

    For more information:

    A list of age and developmental appropriate toys, as well as current toy recalls and safety standards can be are found on the websites below

    Australian Toy Association Limited

    Product Safety Australia (a division of ACCC)

    Consumer Affairs Victoria - Toy & Nursery Safety Line 1300 364 894


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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.