Selecting safe toys for kids: a guide

15 December 2005

With thousands of toys beckoning on the shelves, the selection of safe toys for children has become ever more difficult for family and carers.

To assist everyone to make the correct choice, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a revised edition of Safe toys for kids.

The publication was launched by ACCC Commissioner, Ms Jennifer McNeill, at the Toys: Science At Play exhibition currently showing at Questacon in Canberra today.

"Safe toys for kids gives important advice on what to look for before buying a toy and how to ensure it remains safe for the child playing with it", she said. "It has information on the mandatory product safety standard. It also emphasises that safety and age appropriateness are important considerations when selecting".

"It is a sad fact that many children die each year and many more are hospitalised by unintentional injuries", Ms McNeill said. "Choking is a major cause of these injuries and deaths. Small children are particularly at risk because of their narrow airways and their tendency to put things into their mouth. And children's toys can be implicated". 

Ms McNeill noted that supervising children's play, showing them safe ways to play with toys and providing a safe area for them to play were also crucial to their wellbeing.

"The ACCC is responsible for enforcing mandatory product safety standards and bans under the Trade Practices Act.

"The mandatory safety standard for toys for children up to and including 36 months of age requires that toys for children in this age group are free of any small parts that may pose an ingestion hazard.

"In the past year, hundreds of children’s products have been checked for compliance with mandatory safety standards, resulting in action against suppliers of non-compliant dart guns, bicycles, baby walkers, cots and children's nightwear. Suppliers have also recalled fifteen toys over the same period after discovering a product defect.

"The new edition of Safe toys for kids includes information on various types of playthings, including basketball rings and backboards, which are now subject to a mandatory standard, and trampolines.

Safe toys for kids and other ACCC child safety publications are available from all ACCC offices in capital cities and Townsville; from the ACCC website, or from the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 (cost of a local call).

Links

  • Product safety - safe toys for kids (link removed as item has been retired)
Release number: 
MR 310/05
ACCC Infocentre: 

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