How a toilet roll could help save lives: pediatrician's simple toy safety test goes viral

Picture: TikTok
Picture: TikTok 

No parent would ever intentionally let their little ones near anything that could be a potential choking hazard.

But judging the right size for 'safe' toys can be difficult for parents having to rely on their own judgement - especially if older siblings are in the mix and there are toys parents may have forgotten about before the arrival of a new baby.

Thankfully, one pediatrician has devised a simple and effective hack to test the safety of toys - using an item everyone will have in the home.

Dr Orajiaka posted the hack to TikTok, showing herself holding toys to test if they fit through a toilet roll - used to demonstrate the size of a small child's airway. 

Toys that were too big were deemed safe for babies and toddlers, those that fit easily through could be dangerous, she said.

"Safe toys for kids age 0 to three years should NOT pass through that tube," she captioned the short clip.

"Toys that pass through the tube can easily be swallowed and can lead to choking."


Use a toilet roll to safety of your kids toys from ##choking Supervision is still advised. ##infant ##kidstoys ##toysafe

♬ original sound - Riana

The mum-of-three's video has been viewed more than 454,000 times, with many users thanking her for the simplicity of the trick.


"Thank you. I always have a hard time deciding," said one. 

"My daughter had a hard time figuring out what toys she could share with her baby sis and I told her anything that goes in the roll is a NO. Helped a lot," another added.

When one user suggested two-year-old's should be old enough to know what not to put in their mouth's, Dr Norjiaka advised she had seen it happen before.

"Unfortunately I beg to differ. I've seen four-year-old's do this. Hand to mouth behaviours are their way of learning at that age'.

It's a similar test to one Tiny Hearts Education posted last year, showing how to use your thumb and index finger to test the size of toys. 

In that video, posted to Instagram, mum of two and former paramedic Nikki shows how to quickly and effectively decide if any food (in this case whole cherries) and other small toys could be hazards. 

"This is how I check to see if food or small items may potentially be a choking hazard for my bubs," she captioned the post.

"The circle is approx. the size of a child's airway aged 0-3. If anything can fit in this hole, then it's a choking hazard."

According to the Department of Health children should always be supervised when eating or playing, and parents should take extra care with any foods which may pose a choking risk, such as:

  • Hard food that can break into small lumps/pieces
  • Raw fruit/vegetables such as carrot or apple which should be grated, cooked or mashed to minimise risk
  • nuts, seeds and popcorn
  • Chewy meats
  • Sausages or hotdogs, which should only be served with the skin removed and diced
  • Hard lollies and chips