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15 August 2022
Baby toys

Preparing for the arrival of your baby can be an exciting time, but it can be difficult for parents to know what’s really important when choosing products for your little one.

See the following tips to help you purchase safe products and to use them safely.

Before you buy baby equipment and products

Make sure the product is suitable based on your baby’s age, weight and developmental stage. Using products that your baby has grown out of, or hasn’t grown into, can be dangerous.

Research the product and supplier. Online ratings and reviews are a great source of information.

If you’re buying online, look at photographs and the listing description carefully – they should include warning labels and the age range the product is designed for. If the supplier doesn’t provide this information, don’t buy the product – it’s not worth the risk.

Choose sturdy and well-made toys that won’t easily fall apart. Think about what will happen when your baby pulls, sucks on or drops the toy onto a hard surface. If it looks like it would easily break into small parts, choose another toy to avoid a choking hazard.

Check Australian mandatory standards and bans to see if the product is banned or if there are any specific safety or information requirements for the product you are looking to buy. If requirements do apply, look for labels that show compliance with the mandatory standard.

Check if products have been recalled by visiting productsafety.gov.au/recalls and consider signing up to receive recall alerts.

Using baby products safely

Always follow the instructions for safe assembly, use and maintenance of baby products, and read the product warnings and labels.

Regularly check your baby’s products for wear and tear. If a product is damaged then don’t use it. Safely dispose of it.

Second-hand products

If you use, buy or borrow a second-hand product for your baby, ensure the product meets current Australian mandatory standards, comes with instructions for safe assembly and use, and all its parts are in good working order. Also check that the product hasn't been recalled.

Check your home

Babies and young children often put things in their mouth to explore them by sucking and chewing. Small household objects such as coins, car keys and loose batteries are choking hazards and should always be kept out of your baby’s reach.

Keep loose cords away from your baby to avoid potential strangulation. Check all the cords around your home – e.g. for blinds, curtains, decorative mobiles, baby monitors, sleep alarms, lamps and nightlights.

If a product you purchase is unsafe

Firstly, make sure your baby is safe and seek immediate medical attention if your baby has been injured.

Then report the product to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), including any near misses.

You should also report the unsafe product to the supplier, particularly if it has caused an injury or near-miss. You may also contact the supplier to seek a refund, replacement or repair.

More information

The ACCC has launched a new resource Your First Steps for parents and carers to get the latest, most reliable information on safe products and best practices. Check out Your First Steps for more safety tips and advice about specific baby products – e.g. cots, prams, change tables and dummies.