Toy age-labeling: An overview for pediatricians of how toys receive their age safety and developmental designations

Shuli Kulak, Ruth E. K. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Injuries related to toys continue to cause significant childhood morbidity and mortality, despite considerable government regulation of the toy industry. Recent controversy related to toys that contain strong magnets demonstrate the dangers they pose to children. The pediatric community is often unaware of how toys receive their developmental and safety labeling and the degree to which age-labeling on toys can be discretionary. Toy labeling has 2 basic manifestations. The first, safety labeling for hazards like small parts, balloons, or small balls that may present a choking risk, is mandatory. The second, "developmental" age-labeling, describes the age of the children for which the toy is intended, and sometimes has discretionary components. This article provides a review of the regulations governing toy age-safety standards and how they are reflected on toy packaging to help pediatric practitioners apply safety advice across settings and patient characteristics. We review the existing age-labeling regulations and processes and discuss the major areas where children remain vulnerable despite labeling. Finally, we list some recommendations for counseling parents about toy safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20151803
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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