Toy Safety

1 out of 6 children in Australia require medical treatment for an injury from a toy.

The most common injuries are related to choking.

Only give your child toys that are safely designed to avoid the risk of choking on small objects.

Safe Practices

Check the Toy Label for the following:

  • Age recommendation
  • Adequate instructions on how to use the toy
  • Information on whether the toy is non-toxic and non-flammable, eg paints, crayons, glues

And Remember:

  • Do not store toys in plastic bags.
  • Drill holes in the toy box for ventilation.
  • Use a toy box lid that is not attached to the box.
  • Check toys regularly and discard broken toys.
  • Discourage younger children from playing with toys designed for older children.
  • If the toy requires safety gear, buy it at the same time as you buy the toy, e.g. scooters, skateboards & bikes.
  • New toys should be introduced to the child in your presence, so that you can be sure the toy is safe and age appropriate.
  • Supervise your child to ensure the toy is being used safely.


The Film Canister Test

If any object can fit into a 35mm film canister, then it is capable of choking a child under the age of three.

Possible Toy Hazards

Be careful. The following items on toys can be hazards that could cause
choking, crushed body parts (e.g. fingers), cuts or strangulation:

  • Small parts and loose parts
  • Fur or hair
  • Projectiles, sharp points
  • Gaps or holes which could trap fingers
  • Small removable attachments
  • Realistic-looking weapons
  • Balloons
  • Plastic spheres or beads
  • Long strings
  • Hinges or links
  • Weak stitching
  • Poor ventilation
  • Attached toy box lids
  • Small batteries

Be wary of toys that make loud noises, as they can be harmful to hearing.

Check for ventilation before buying tents, masks, helmets, etc.

Ensure ride-on toys are appropriate for the child’s age and are stable.

 Australian Standards

There is a set of Australian Standards applying to toy safety.  Read labels to assess potential hazards and appropriateness for your child’s age and stage.

Age Guidelines for Toys

Children Aged 0 to 2

Toys should be washable and non-breakable, with no detachable parts, which could be put in the mouth, nostrils or ears of the child.

Examples:  Rattles, washable toys, push toys and pull toys.

Children Aged 2 & 3
Look for toys that are easily cleaned and without detachable parts, but will promote the child’s development

  • Push & pull toys: three wheeled scooters, wheelbarrows or sit-on toys.
  • Artistic Development: Blackboard & chalk, large crayons, modelling clay. Check for small parts and only use
    non-toxic products.
  • Constructive & Creative Play: Large hollow blocks, nesting jars, pyramid rings, large picture puzzles (3-10 pieces), model trucks and tractors.
  • Dramatic & Imitative Play: Dolls, toy animals, doll prams & houses, dump trucks, simple trains, hand puppets. Be aware of small parts such as loose eyes or buttons with toys in this area of development.

Children Aged 4 & 5

Strength & Skills: Bucket & spade, scooter and safety gear, prams & balls, simple rolling games.

Artistic Development:  Large pencils, paint sets, clay. Only use non-toxic products.

Constructive & Creative Play: Plastic scissors with rounded edges, sand toys, medium beads to thread, picture puzzles up to 60 pieces, building & construction sets, toy earthmoving equipment.

Dramatic & Imitative Play:

Toy lawn mowers, housekeeping toys, garages, farm sets, dress ups, toy telephone, string puppets, cars.


For more information:

Contact Kidsafe

Building 2, Collett Place, Pearce

(02) 6290 2242