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As we celebrate National Safe Kids Week, it’s the best time to talk about keeping our little ones safe while they play. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds the public on the importance and safe use of toys and childcare products in preventing the risk of choking.

Toys are not just objects of amusement for children; they’re essential tools for learning and development. However, amidst the joy and play, we have to be mindful of potential dangers – the risk of choking. Choking happens when an object gets lodged in the throat, blocking the airway. Children are naturally curious and tend to explore their environment by putting objects into their mouths. As a result, they tend to swallow things that they shouldn’t or what we call choking hazards. Examples of these choking hazards are small parts, toy figurines and jewelries, loose components, poorly constructed toys that can easily break apart, and toys with small detachable parts, such as buttons, batteries, and magnets.

Because children have smaller airways than adults, they are at a higher risk of choking, making it a significant concern for parents and caregivers. Through identifying choking hazards, it helps prevent accidents by removing or securing these objects out of their reach. Understanding choking hazards also presents an opportunity for parents and caregivers to educate themselves and others about safe practices for children, including appropriate toys for their child’s well-being.

One valuable tool designed to safeguard children from choking hazards is an anti-choking tester. It is a tool designed to assess the size of small objects and determine if they pose a choking hazard to children. Shaped to mimic the dimensions of a child’s throat, this tube provides a quick and reliable way to evaluate the safety of toys and other objects before they are introduced into a child’s play environment. Adapted from the tester developed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the FDA has developed a printable do-it-yourself (DIY) anti-choking tester – Choke Guard.

The following are steps on how to use Choke Guard:

The FDA also reminds consumers to check if these products have been authorized by the FDA through checking the FDA Verification Portal at .

To report any safety incidents involving toys, please send an e-mail to or call our hotline at (02) 8857-1900 local 8113 or 8110.