Why is this important?
Toys are essential to children’s development. Unfortunately, some toys may be a source of exposure to toxic substances. Lead may be present in painted toys. Lead and other metals may also be in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or ‘vinyl’ plastics in toys. Children can be exposed to toxic chemicals called phthalates when soft plastic PVC toys or other objects are put in the mouth, by breathing in particles suspended in the air, and through ingestion of dust as the plastics break down through normal wear-and-tear.
What actions can we take?
- Check regularly for product recalls on all toys, play equipment, furniture and accessories.
- Visit the Government of Canada’s Recalls and Safety Alerts page.
- Reduce or remove sources of noise that may be dangerous to children’s hearing (e.g. some toys with batteries, loud music).
- Avoid old, donated or inexpensive toys or other objects that may contain lead or other hazardous chemicals.
- Replace PVC plastic (vinyl) toys with safer options.
Establish a toy safety policy that considers toxic substance hazards.
- A toy policy might include:
- accepting or buying only those toys that are not on a recall list,
- choosing only phthalate- or PVC-free toys,
- sourcing toys from reputable sources: from a known origin (i.e., the name of the manufacturer is visible) and made in Canada whenever possible,
- choosing toys that can be easily washed (including stuffed animals),
- opting for toys made of safe and sustainable materials such as wood or other natural materials,
- discontinuing use of toys that have chipping or peeling paint or other signs of breakdown.