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Magnetic toys

Magnets are a common feature in some toys. Magnets with a high magnetic strength and which are small enough to be swallowed are a hazard.

Any toy that includes a hazardous magnet or magnetic component must contain:

  • a warning about the hazards
  • an age grading for the product.

This must be prominent on the packaging and in the instruction booklet.

What are the hazards?

Any products with magnets small enough to swallow are a risk to children.

If your child swallows a magnet, they could:

  • suffer a serious injury
  • need emergency surgery
  • be at risk of death.

If they swallow more than one magnet, the magnets can:

  • lock together through the walls of the intestines
  • infect, tear or obstruct your child’s insides.

Safety standards

The current toy safety standard for magnets applies to all toys that:

  • are new
  • are made for children under 14 to play with
  • contain hazardous small magnets that are stored loose, attached to or fitted into toys.

When buying your child a magnetic toy, think about:

  • the maker's age grading
  • other children who might access the toys (such as younger siblings or friends).

Always store the toys out of reach of younger children.

Banned magnets

A permanent ban exists on the sale of small high-powered magnets.

This ban applies to magnets that:

  • are smaller than a ping-pong ball or could fit inside a 35mm film canister
  • have a magnetic flux of 50 or more
  • are supplied in groups of 2 or more.

These magnets mustn’t be sold in:

  • any toy, game or puzzle (including but not limited to an adult desk toy, an educational toy or game, a toy, game or puzzle for mental stimulation or stress relief)
  • a construction or modelling kit
  • jewellery to be worn in or around the mouth or nose.
Updated: 27 May 2020

This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.