Guidance for parents and caregivers

Information to help parents and caregivers when buying and using products for children and babies.

Buying safe products for babies and children

Safety actions you can take before buying products for children and babies:

  • Before you buy any toys or nursery equipment, shop around. Think about safety as well as cost. Small loose parts, unsecured strings or cords and sharp edges can be hazards for little ones.
  • Ask the shop assistant how to use a product correctly. People selling children’s products should be able to show you how they work.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them when assembling and using products. Check with the supplier if you are unsure. Always stay within the manufacturer’s stated maximum weight capacity.
  • Look for safety standards labels on products such as nightwear, toys and cots. Many products are covered by mandatory or voluntary safety standards, which aim to prevent injuries or reduce the risk of them happening. Safety standards – information for consumers.

Remember to talk about safety to family and friends who may buy products for your child, or care for them when you’re not there.

Learn about products with known child safety hazards, what to look for when buying them and how to use them safely.

Product guides

If you believe a product you have purchased is unsafe, you should contact the retailer or supplier. You can also let us know:

Report an unsafe product

Keeping products safe for children and babies

Wear and tear on children and baby products can cause safety hazards. Check items regularly, especially if buying second hand. Check for:

  • loose screws or joints, rough edges, sharp points, or splinters
  • open ended tubes, hinges with gaps, or any spaces or holes that can trap heads, fingers, and toes
  • wear and tear on locking devices – nursery equipment can collapse if locking devices don’t work
  • stability – make sure the product won’t tip over in use or if you fit extra accessories
  • projections, strings, or cords that could snag clothing or could strangle or choke.
  • worn, missing, broken or loose parts, straps or buckles
  • fabric that is worn and/or not firmly fixed to the frame
  • peeling paint or damaged wood, metal, or plastic
  • any items that contain 'button' batteries such as car keys, remote controls and flashing/musical toys to ensure they are securely fastened inside the device.

If there is any obvious damage, don’t use it. Often products are recalled due to safety concerns. You can check the latest products recalls and register for recall alerts here:

Recalled products

More resources on keeping children and babies safe from harm


  • Learn about how to keep you little one safe, clean, healthy and happy.
  • Tips to take care of your tamariki from birth to five years old.

Caring for your child(external link) — Whānau Āwhina Plunket

Safekids Aotearoa

Safekids Aotearoa provides practical advice based on international research, local knowledge and mātauranga, to help keep children safe from serious injuries like falls, drowning and incidents on the road.

Safekids Aotearoa(external link)