Hidden risks in toys: A systematic review of pediatric toy contact dermatitis

Justine Fenner, Ali Hadi, Lindsey Yeh, Nanette Silverberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Toys are a reflection of the compounds used frequently in manufacturing. Allergic contact dermatitis to potties, metal toys, and children's jewelry is well known, however, there is a broad range of skin risks in toys. With the objective to identify and publicize the associated risk of contact dermatitis in children's toys, we have searched the PubMed database from creation to September 9, 2019. Studies were eligible if they reported a new case of contact dermatitis secondary to interaction with a toy in patients from birth to 18 years of age. A toy was defined as something children interact with for entertainment during leisure time. In this review of the PubMed database we filtered by age and language which may have prevented us from detecting cases in adults that could be extrapolated to children. In addition, several articles were excluded based on title alone. A total of 1312 articles were identified and reviewed manually for inclusion criteria. Review of the articles found 25 original articles for consideration. Several toys were found to be associated with contact dermatitis. These included electronics, toy cars, costume jewelry, bicycles, sqwish balls, slime, Play-Doh, and plasticine. Electronics such as video game controllers, cellphones, iPads, and computers were implicated. In conclusion, there is still an unmet need for observation of this segment of industry for labeling of contents and ongoing surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • contact urticaria
  • irritant contact dermatitis
  • patch test
  • review


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