Toy safety tips

Keep play fun - and safe

In Canada, all toys are regulated to make sure they are safe for use by children. Even so, unsafe toys can make their way onto store shelves and into homes. And sometimes the ways toys are used can expose children to hazards. Being informed and aware of potential risks will help you protect your child's health and safety. Here are some general tips to follow:

  • When buying toys, look for sturdy and well-made ones that include the manufacturer's contact information.
  • Read and follow all age labels and safety messages. Toys for older children may have small parts or other hazards that make them unsafe for younger children.
  • Keep small toys and any loose parts/accessories out of the reach of children under three years of age, as these are choking hazards for children who still put non-food items into their mouths.
  • Repair or throw away broken toys. Check often for loose parts, broken pieces or sharp edges that could harm children.
  • Keep all toys - especially plush and soft toys - away from heat sources like stoves, fireplaces and heaters.

Storing toys

Use a toy box without a lid. Heavier lids (often found on older wooden toy boxes and chests) can fall on a child's head or neck, causing injury or even death. If you use a toy box that has a lid, make sure the lid is light and the box has holes to allow air inside.

Never give children access to airtight storage bins, trunks or boxes. If they climb inside, they could suffocate.

Tips for specific kinds of toys

Ride-on toys

  • Make sure any riding toys you buy are right for your child's age, size and abilities.
  • Check that the ride-on toy will not tip when your child is using it. The toy should be stable when weight is placed on any riding point.
  • Serious injuries and deaths can occur when children use ride-on toys in dangerous areas. Make sure children don't use ride-on toys near stairs, swimming pools or other dangerous areas-including hazards like lamps, cords, decorations or appliances that could be knocked or pulled down.

Did you know...

Baby walkers

Baby walkers are very unsafe. They were banned from being sold in Canada in 2004 and should not be used by any child.

Latex balloons

  • Balloons should be used for decoration only - not for play.
  • Always keep uninflated balloons and pieces of broken balloons out of the reach of children. These pieces can be easily inhaled and block a child's airway.
  • Balloons should be inflated by adults only.

Did you know...


Trampolines are not toys - they can seriously injure children, even when an adult supervises them. Children under the age of six should never go on a trampoline. Children over six using a trampoline should be supervised at all times.

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