Tough toys are best
Toys that can stand up to being bitten, tugged, sucked, jumped on and thrown around without falling apart are best for your baby.
Toys for different ages and stages
- To guard against choking, keep babies away from small toys, toys that have small parts, or are made from materials like foam which may break apart. These toys pose a risk if they are inserted into your baby's mouth, nose or ears.
- Other small objects that can fit in your baby's mouth, such as coins, marbles and balloons, should also be kept out of reach.
- Watch out for toys with cords or strings longer than 22cm, such as push- or pull-along toys, as they can pose a strangulation risk.
- Toys which are, or contain, small magnets, such as figures, letters and numbers, are not safe for babies or toddlers. Small magnets can cause serious internal injuries if swallowed.
- Keep toys for older children separate and away from a young child’s reach.
Button batteries and other household hazards
Button batteries look like a small coin and are commonly used in toys and household items. These batteries are dangerous – if inserted or swallowed, they can become stuck in your baby's throat, nose, or ears, resulting in serious injury and even death. There are mandatory safety requirements in place for button batteries and most products containing them to reduce the risk of access by babies and children. Keep your baby safe from button batteries by following these tips:
- Button batteries are everywhere. Keep household items that contain them, like electronic car keys, remote controls, calculators, and musical greeting cards, out of your baby's reach.
- Check toys to see if they contain button batteries. If they do, ensure that the battery compartment is secure and not easily opened – for example, look for compartments that are secured with a screw or require a tool to open. If you are unsure whether it is secure enough, don't buy it – it's not worth the risk.
- Any toy that lights up, plays music or sounds, or moves may contain a button battery.
- Keep spare button batteries out of sight and reach of your baby at all times, and always dispose of used button batteries immediately and safely.
Reassess safety hazards around your home as your baby grows and hits new milestones. As your baby begins to crawl, pull up, cruise, climb and stand, be aware of safety risks posed by toppling furniture, and other household appliances and items, which might pose a risk of falls, burns, scalding, or poisoning. For further information on making your home child-safe refer to the Kidsafe resource – A Parent's Guide to Kidsafe Homes.
Playing safely with toys
Babies often place toys in their mouth to explore them by sucking and chewing. They also have small airways which are easily blocked, and their reflexes are still developing. This makes them more susceptible to choking than older children.
- Regularly clear out your baby's toy chest – check for toys with sharp edges, or broken or loose parts. Any damaged toys should be immediately and safely disposed of.
- Immediately and safely dispose of any plastic packaging that comes with toys.