It’s all fun and games until somebody realises the new toy isn’t safe.
Safety should be at the top of the list of criteria for saleable children’s toys. And most of the time, it is.
But sometimes, manufacturing goes wrong – and safety standards fall to the wayside.
Because gifts are supposed to bring joy and happiness to children, it’s best to be cautious with the presents you buy for them – especially if they’re toys with lots of small, moving parts.
Here are a few things to look out for to ensure the toys you buy for kids are safe to play with.
- Check for toy recalls. Product Safety Australia’s Recalls web page is the best place to look to find any and all recalled products.
- Watch out for choking hazards. Take a look at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s DIY choke check safety tool for guidance on how to determine which toys are safe and which aren’t.
- Toys are very age specific. What’s safe for a nine-year-old to play with may be risky for a three-year-old. This is especially true for younger children where there’s the danger of choking on small objects by putting them in their mouths (something teething toddlers love to do) – or even strangling themselves on cords, ropes and strings. Always follow age guidelines on children’s gift packaging to make sure your gift is age appropriate.
- For babies and young toddlers, its best to opt for toys that are bright, colourful and lightweight – and made out of non-toxic materials. This is a big learning age for children, and they often put things in their mouths to explore them – so it’s important they’re not poisonous.
- Sharp edges and points – and anything made from glass or metal – should be avoided for kids under the age of eight. Inspect toys thoroughly to make sure they don’t have any poking wires that could cause cuts or shocks to kids.
- Plastic wrapping and packaging can pose a potential suffocation risk – it’s best to remove it as soon as the gift is opened.