Small child

How to buy toys: check what can be dangerous for your child

How to buy toys: check what can be dangerous for your child

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During shopping should be guided by reason and careful observation. Regardless of whether we buy children's toys or products for ourselves. Hurry and emotions are a bad adviser. Preferably before we choose: carefully look, touch and read all the information on the package. In this way, without exaggeration, we can save our child's health and even ... life.

Toys on the Polish market

Toys available on the Polish market, according to the reports of inspection institutions, in 1/3 do not meet the standards. Weaknesses are larger or smaller. Only two out of three toys are safe and suited to the needs of the child. The rest requires changes.

From time to time, the media informs about dangerous toys. Usually, their withdrawal is preceded by a loud warning. Often, months or even years pass before a product disappears from the market. At this time, toys pose a deadly danger. They are often the cause of choking, poisoning and mutilation.

The latest survey of environmental activists conducted in October 2012 as part of the pre-Christmas campaign on the US market showed that 60 toys out of 100 checked are potentially dangerous because they contain harmful chemicals - recognized as the cause of developmental problems and even the occurrence of cancer in children. Unfortunately, often the composition, information given on the packaging, does not agree with what was found after sampling to check the toy. This gives a clear signal that parents, and in general: consumers are often deceived and the possibility of informed choice is very limited. That is why many people suggest choosing toys of good, well-known brands or as simple as possible, stimulating the creativity of the child.

Made in China

85% of toys sold in the European Union come from China. They are often associated with indulgence products, "market" products and cheap fakes. Meanwhile, the truth is that among Chinese products a very important place is occupied by toys licensed by Western corporations, in which cases security concerns are usually unreasonable, because such products are controlled and repeatedly tested.


Most parents do not hide that children have too many toys. That is why specialists often recommend buying less, but better quality proposals. Some people discover the charm of wooden toys, paying attention to their "ecological", others are guided by the price, which can give confidence that the production of toys was not used low-quality materials that threaten safety, e.g.

  • polyvinyl chloride (PVC)to which so-called plasticizers are added to make the toys created soft and pleasant to the touch. Most often, phthalates are used for this purpose, which, unfortunately, are easily washed out of toys and can be dangerous if swallowed together with saliva. phthalatesthat a pregnant woman had to deal with can cause low birth weight. They are also suspected of having a negative impact on the child's behavior: hyperactivity, aggression, and increased risk of asthma. In boys, the result may be underdevelopment of the genitals, and in girls, accelerated sexual maturation.
  • 1-4 butanediol - Swallowed, it can be transformed into a rape-like substance. Its use in the toy was discussed loudly in relation to "magic" beads that changed color under water.
  • Lead, arsenic, antimony, chromium, cadmium, mercury - they can cause reproductive, endocrine, behavioral, developmental and learning problems. In the United States, over a million children have high levels of lead in their blood, considered dangerous.

Age group

Providing information about the age group for which the toy was prepared is often inaccurate. We read something else on the packaging and something else on the sticker, often another indication will be posted on the website. This is not the end of potential problems for toy buyers.

You have to remember that information about the child's age is only approximate, please use it as a guide. Children are developing at different rates and have different preferences regarding what a toy should look like and what it should be created for.

Address and name of the manufacturer / importer

The toy packaging should contain information on who the producer of the toy is, along with the address (preferably also the website), or a helpline number at which we will receive all necessary information and we will be able to submit our comments and even complaints.

What to look for when buying toys?

  • Do they have sharp, hard, metal edges,
  • Don't they have small parts that are easy to tear off,
  • Whether after running your hand over the cuddly toy, or dolls do not remain in the hand of lint,
  • Are they too loud (do they have volume controls,
  • Don't they have too long string
  • Is it easy to clean them,
  • Do they have a manual and warnings on the carton / packaging in Polish,
  • Do they have clear markings for children, at what age is the toy intended (often the packaging has conflicting information on this subject).
  • Do they contain the necessary information, including marking of compliance with European Union CE directives (this means that the toy meets the mechanical and physical requirements, flammability and volatilization of chemical elements, according to EN 71).
  • It is also worth smelling a toy if it has a too sharp smell (e.g. plastic), rubber, it is better to think about it before putting it in the basket.

And you pay attention to the quality of toys? What are your reasons for making your purchase decision?