In the UK there are rules and regulations to try and make sure that the toys we buy for children are safe.
When buying toys look for safety labels. There are some approved labels that show the toy meets the quality and safety standards recommended to keep children safe.
The CE mark means that the toy meets all the rules for toy safety set across Europe.
The Lion Mark shows the toy has been made by a quality approved British toy maker.
This age warning acts as a guide to whether a toy is safe or not for an age group. Parents and carers should think about the needs of their own child as some children’s development may be slower.
The Kitemark shows a British product has met quality and safety levels. This is not just used for toys but is found on things like safety equipment e.g. a cycle helmet.
Even though there are rules and laws to make sure that the toys sold in the UK are safe some unsafe toys are still found for sale illegally in this country.
Checking if toys seem safe for your child is a good habit to get into. You can reduce the risk of buying unsafe toys by;
- Buying from well known toy stores and online shops.
- Taking extra care if you buy second hand or from markets and car boot sales.
When checking toys remember;
- Some things that may look like toys are not designed to be played with. Be careful with things like Halloween or Christmas decorations which may not be safe.
- Old toys may not have the same safety standards or could be worn out. They can break and hurt a child.
- If the toy has batteries they should be safely secured needing a screwdriver to open the compartment. Button batteries are especially dangerous, *Click Here* to find out more.
- If a toy connects to Wi-Fi or blue tooth, the NSPCC have advice on the possible risks and how to keep children safe. *Click Here* to find out more.
Think about your child’s age and development. Be careful if you have children of different ages and abilities, and make sure that unsuitable toys are kept out of reach. Young children should be supervised whilst they play and all children should follow any instructions that come with a toy to make sure they can play safely.
- Could they put it into their mouth and choke on it?
- Might small parts/ loose fur break off?
- Has it any strings or straps that could be a strangulation risk?
Remember - check all toys from time to time. If they are broken they should be thrown away not sold or sent to charity shops.
- Keep play areas clear – tidy up regularly to avoid trips and falls.
- Children may play with toys at other people’s houses or groups that are not safe for them.
- If you are at play areas and playgrounds check it seems well maintained and has safe surfaces. Make sure your child has the physical skills to play there safely.
- Use safety equipment - for example helmets and protective clothes when skate boarding, scooting or riding a bike. This reduces risk of serious injury whilst still letting your child be active and have fun.
Need More Information?
Who Can Help?
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
*Click Here* to speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum.