Toys are products that are designed or clearly intended for children to play with. They are a fundamental part of children’s physical, mental, social, educational and emotional development. It is vital that they are free of dangerous elements that could harm children.
Most toys are safe from dangerous levels of lead and other elements. Parents and carers should be aware, however, that some toys containing lead and certain other elements can seriously harm children.
Lead and other elements can cause harm if children suck on toys and consume harmful amounts of these elements. Young children often place toys in their mouth to explore them by sucking, mouthing and chewing on them, so they are especially vulnerable to dangerous elements in toys.
Children can absorb up to 60 per cent of the lead they’re exposed to. Toys are one of the most common sources of lead poisoning in children.
If children swallow or chew on a toy containing unsafe levels of lead, they can suffer significant and sometimes permanent damage to their physical and mental health. In some cases, they can die.
Children can suffer similar serious health problems when exposed to any of the seven other elements listed previously.
To minimise these risks there is a mandatory standard for children's toys containing unacceptable levels of lead and other elements.