Toddler playing with toy car
Photo: Johner

Buy safe toys for young children

Children under the age of three love to explore their toys and often put them in their mouths. This is why you must be extra careful to ensure that the toy is suitable for the child’s age and abilities.

Buy sturdy toys

Young children must have sturdy toys that can be thrown, chewed and pulled at without falling apart. Feel the toy before you buy it. Make sure small components are securely attached. Rattles and teething rings for infants must have no small components that could come away and block their airways. To prevent them from becoming a choking hazard, balls and other round toys must be at least five centimetres in diameter, i.e. bigger than a golf ball.

On cuddly toys, dolls and teddy bears, check that the seams will not come apart. You could also ask the salesperson what the filling is made of. Remember that the filling may also contain small components that could block an airway.

Avoid long drawstrings and cords

Remember that toys with long drawstrings and cords can cause strangulation. Toys that hang above a cot or pram quickly become more dangerous when the child starts to push itself up on its hands and knees.

Must not contain toxins

If a soft plastic toy smells odd, that could mean that it contains toxic chemicals. The Norwegian Environment Agency has more information about toys and dangerous chemicals.

Prevent hearing damage

Toys that make a loud noise, such as guns, mobile phones and cars with sirens, can cause hearing loss. Some people put tape across a toy’s speaker to deaden the noise, but this is not a good idea. If the tape falls off, the child could put it in their mouth, turning it into a choking hazard. It's better just to steer clear of the noisiest toys. On the Norwegian Environment Agency’s website, you can read more about the requirements applicable to the noise level on toys

Check the label

All toys must bear the CE mark, which shows that the product complies with EU safety requirements. Toys that are not suitable for young children must be marked with a warning written in Norwegian. Evaluate the toy outlet; only buy toys from respectable outlets, whose staff can provide you with information and guidance.

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