Toy safety guidance
This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to consumers. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law.
- Our advice
- Think about the suitability of the toy for the child's age and ability
- Buy from reputable suppliers
- Take extra care when buying toys from car boot and jumble sales
- Second hand toys need to be thoroughly checked before purchase
- Supervise young children during play
- Be wary of young children playing with older children's toys
- Be aware of sharp edges, small parts, cords, projectiles, plastic bags and batteries
- Most accidents happen when people trip over toys during and after play, so encourage children to tidy up and put toys away
- Periodically check toys to make sure they have not become unsafe due to excessive wear
- Dispose of toys which are no longer safe
- Buying toys
All new toys must be marked with:
- the CE symbol (manufacturer's declaration that the toy meets all toy safety laws and standards)
- the name and address of the manufacturer or importer
- any relevant markings/precautions for use such as:
- an age warning for toys not suitable for children under 3 (eg due to a choking hazard)
- instructions for correct assembly and use (eg swings and slides)
- whether toys require adult supervision or should only be used by children over a certain age
- the need for protective equipment when using skates, skateboards, etc
- warnings for use in the water (eg rubber rings)
Instructions and warnings may be on the toys or their packaging. You should retain this information.
- The 'Lion Mark'
The voluntary British Toy and Hobby Association 'Lion Mark' is often seen on toy packaging. All Association members' toys will comply with the legal safety rules.
- Toys with magnets
Check the safety warnings on the packaging, eg the symbol below may be used in place of a written age warning. It indicates the toy is not suitable for children under 3 years of age. Specific reasons will accompany the symbol as required e.g. ‘Small parts, choking hazard’.
Where a toy is marked ‘not suitable for children under 36 months – choking hazard’, it is because the toy has small parts which could become detached and might be a choking risk.
Toys marked ‘recommended for ages 5-8’ are discretionary guidelines.
If your child has swallowed a magnet from one of these toys
- Seek urgent medical attention. Dial 999 or NHS 111
- If possible, take the toy and any packaging with you
- Later report this matter to your local Trading Standards Service