FDA Advisory No. 2017-097
Reminders to the Public on the Proper Selection and Use of Stuffed Toys and Plush Toys
Toys are essential to children since these serve as their companion and give multiple purposes in their development. Toys not only provide entertainment to children but these also enhance their physical and mental skills. Today, toy safety is the main concern of every parent considering there are reports of potential hazards that can injure their children.
Stuffed toys and plush toys may seem harmless, but their eyes, buttons and attached accessories can be easily removed and are often small enough to be swallowed by children that can lead to choking hazard.
Thus, the Food and Drug Administration through the Center for Cosmetics Regulation and Research (CCRR) advises the general public, especially the parents, to be more cautious in selecting stuffed toys and plush toys.
A stuffed toy is a toy, clothed or unclothed, or sewn from a textile and stuffed with soft materials and used as a comfort object by children of all ages while plush toys are used for play, and include dolls, figures, or soft toys stuffed with a variety of synthetic or natural fills or small pellets. These can be either battery-operated or non-battery operated.
To ensure safety, consumers/ parents are enjoined to observe the following:
- Be sure to read the labels indicated on toys. Be aware of safety recommendations. Check the label for the name and address of the company responsible placing the product in the market, License to Operate number issued by FDA, example: LTO-3000000123456, age grading and, warning or cautionary statements.
- Ensure there are no small parts that can come off easily and can trapped in children’s throat. Children can suffer asphyxia (when oxygen stops entering the body) as a result of toys or parts of toys blocking their breathing. Asphyxia causes loss of consciousness or death.
- Feel the toy for any sharp objects.A stuffed toy’s filling should be clean and free of objects or substances that may be harmful to children.
- Check seams are securely sewn. If synthetic material like nylon thread has been used, check that the ends of the threads are secure and will not come loose. Long and loose pieces of thread on a stuffed toy can cause strangulation.
- Always buy toys from reputable retailers/ outlets and;
- Supervise the children as they play.
The public is advised to be vigilant against toy products that might not be duly notified with FDA. Always check if a product has been notified with FDA before purchasing it by making use of the embedded Search feature of the FDA website accessible at www.fda.gov.ph.
Dissemination of the information to all concerned is requested.