Toys for babies and toddlers should be washable, non-breakable and have no sharp edges, rough surfaces and sharp points.
Toys for babies and toddlers should be washable, non-breakable and have no sharp edges, rough surfaces and sharp points. © iStockphoto.com/Clint Scholz

Choice warns of toy hazards as Christmas approaches

WITH Christmas just six weeks away a Choice investigation of 23 toys has found 15 failed one or more of the mandatory safety tests from the Australian standard and could present a choking danger.

Choice testers assessed toys that would appeal to children aged under three, including plastic vehicles and musical instruments, action games and battery-powered toys. The items were purchased from a range of variety discount stores and larger retailers across Sydney and ranged in price from $3-$17.

>>See the review on Choice's website

Fifteen toys had small parts break off or parts which came loose after Choice testers applied pressure or tension.

Of the 15, six also had easily accessible battery compartments and one toy gun which failed as the suction cap on the projectile was able to be removed making it a potential hazard particularly if fired at an eye or vulnerable area.

The Australian standard states toys must not contain small parts that present a choking hazard, or produce any when subjected to tests designed to simulate normal use such as dropping, pressing or pulling.

Choice shared the test results released on Monday with NSW Fair Trading.

In the past 12 months, NSW Fair Trading investigators have removed 117 varieties of dangerous toys from sale.

TIPS FOR TOY SHOPPING
When shopping for toys Choice advises people:

  • Read instructions about proper assembly, use and supervision carefully.
  • Check for small and/or loose parts that could become a choking hazard.
  • Toys for babies and toddlers should be washable, non-breakable and have no sharp edges, rough surfaces and sharp points.
  • If you are buying a toy that shoots projectiles, only choose ones with soft or non-removable suction caps and make sure the firing mechanism won't discharge any other objects like stones or nails, and that the projectile's impact is weak enough to not cause injury.
  • Toys with simple, rugged designs are often better suited to the rough and tumble of toddlers play.
  • Buy toys from reputable dealers.

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