FDA Advisory No. 2017-094
Reminders to the Public on the Proper Selection and Use of Aquatic Toys
The Food and Drug Administration through the Center for Cosmetics Regulation and Research (CCRR) advises the general public, especially the parents, to be more vigilant in selecting aquatic toys.
Aquatic toys are defined as toys intended to bear the mass of a child and used for play in shallow water. These toys must be designed and manufactured as to reduce any risk of drowning due to loss of buoyancy and loss of support afforded to the child.
Danger to children can arise due to unintended deflation that may occur or if a child does not use it properly. Aquatic toys are not safety devices. An adult should constantly supervise children using these toys.
Other international agencies have identified several hazards associated with aquatic toys. These include:
- Death by drowning. A child can drown if his/her aquatic toy deflates or if the child did not use it properly.
- Brain injury by near-drowning. A child revived from near-drowning may suffer permanent brain injury from lack of oxygen to the brain.
- Torn inflatable toys for use in water and causing children to fall unexpectedly into the water. Stoppers on valves should not become detached and they should be protected against being unintentionally removed.
To ensure safety, consumers/ parents are enjoined to observe the following:
- Be sure to read the labels found on packaging. Be aware of safety recommendations and take them seriously. Check the label for the age grading, item/ model/ SKU number, warning/ cautionary statements, complete name and address of the company and license to operate number (LTO No.) of the local company responsible for placing the product in the market.
Examples of the type of warning or cautionary statements that must be legibly marked on aquatic toys as shown in Figures 1 to 2:
2.Choose toys suitable for the child's age, abilities and skill level.
3.Follow the instructions and/ or weight recommendations carefully for proper assembly and use. Keep the instructions and information that are packaged with the product in a safe place.
4.Always buy toys from reputable retailers/outlets.
5.Supervise the children as they play.
6.Check all toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. A damaged or dangerous toy should be thrown away or repaired immediately. For aquatic toys, ensure that air-inflation inlet stoppers do not become detached and that they are protected from inadvertent removal.
The public is enjoined to assist FDA in monitoring these products in the market and to report any suspicious activities and their availability in the market through any of the following channels:
- Contact the FDA CCRR Hotline at (02) 857-1984/ 857-1979.
Dissemination of the information to all concerned is requested.