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Product categoriesBaby & nurseryInflatable toys, novelties & furniture

Inflatable toys, novelties & furniture

Inflatable toy heart with beads

Inflatable toys, novelties and furniture are made of soft plastic or other similar material and are designed to be inflated.  Examples of such products include inflatable toy hammers, balls, children’s chairs, plastic lounges and footstools.

Sometimes the toys, novelties and furniture also contain loose beads, pellets or small particles generally made from polystyrene or a similar synthetic material. Young children may easily access these because:

  • PVC plastic inflatable products may burst or puncture when in contact with sharp objects
  • synthetic material is known to weaken with age—PVC plastic may deteriorate to the point where it bursts and the beads fall out.

If children inhale or swallow polystyrene beads or other types of pellets they could suffocate or suffer illness and respiratory infections that may lead to death. Polystyrene beads can stick in the throat. Inhaled or swallowed polystyrene beads do not show up on X-Rays, making them very difficult for doctors to diagnose the cause of a related illness and to locate and remove the beads. 

There is a permanent ban on the sale of these products.



A permanent ban on inflatable toys, novelties and furniture containing beads was declared on 1 February 2011. This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with the ban.


Check for any recalls related to this page.


  • 17 children aged under 12 years old in New South Wales required hospitalisation after they swallowed or inhaled polystyrene beads in the 3 years from 1996 to 1998
  • 35 child injury cases involving polystyrene beads were presented to hospitals in Victoria between October 1995 and June 1999

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