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How can I ensure that my children's toys are safe?

We bring you the low down on toy safety

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Toy safety

Over the past few years, toy manufacturers have recalled a range of toys due to problems with everything from magnets to paint containing lead.  Members of the BTHA (British Toy and Hobbies Association (BTHA) display the Lion Mark logo to show their toys are made to the highest safety standards. Design and manufacturing safety standards are, of course, paramount. 

However, the reality is that the main health risk comes from misuse that tends to occur when a child is given a toy that is inappropriate for their age, or one that is badly maintained or broken. Other common accidents are caused by tripping over toys. 

It’s vital to follow age-warning symbols for children under three, because these contain parts that could be a choking hazard. Any other age guidance is purely manufacturer’s advice and not based on safety requirements, so don’t rely on this.

“Always buy from a reputable toyshop or high-street store, never from markets; and ask to take the toy out of the box so you can check its suitability before you buy,” advises Mike Hayes of the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). 

Also, keep an eye on your child’s toy box to ensure that toys are still in good condition – check for flaking paint and sharp edges. Also ensure children don’t get hold of toys that are out of their age group, or accessories that should not 
be chewed. 

Visit the CAPT website for more information.


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