Stay safe when buying toys this Christmas

December 11, 2015

Retailers are meant to ensure that the toys they sell are safe. However, if you’re buying toys for your child or for the child of someone you know this Christmas it’s important to make sure you know what to watch out for:

  • Watch out for the CE mark – if the toy does not have the official CE mark, or does not have the CE mark at all, don’t buy it! The CE mark shows that the toy meets the required safety standards. It is the responsibility of retailers to ensure that the toys they sell are safe.  This is the correct CE mark.
  • Watch out for the age range –look for guidelines on the toy about what the appropriate age group is. Particularly the 0-3 symbol, as this will show if it is not suitable for a child of that age. Think about any younger children in the same house who might be in danger if they play with the toy also.
  • Watch out for detachable small parts – these can pose a danger to children, especially those under 3. They can become lodged in ears, noses or throats, and cause injury or a choking hazard.
  • Watch out for rogue traders – who you may find at street markets, car-boot sales and online. Rogue traders may ignore health and safety standards and sell poor quality or dangerous toys. Try to buy toys from reputable retailers. Buying from an established retailer also means you can return the item if it turns out there is a problem with it. If you buy from another consumer either in person or online, your consumer rights don’t apply.
  • Watch out for toys with sharp edges, long cords or cables. Toys with foldaway parts or small holes can be dangerous to a child as they can trap little fingers.
  • Watch out for Christmas decorations that are unsuitable for children – for instance, glass ornaments or decorations that can be easily broken, could be very harmful to a child. Things like Christmas crackers may not be on your radar but they may have small or sharp parts inside them that are unsuitable for a child.
  • Watch out for chargers – if you are buying electronic equipment. Always buy products including chargers from a reputable retailer and check that they have the CE mark. Poor quality chargers come with the risk of electrocution, going on fire, or damaging electronic equipment. When you buy a charger, if it feels very light, or if the USB port is up-side-down or if any words on the charger are spelled incorrectly, don’t buy it.
  • Watch out for other things like plastic packaging, which can cause suffocation.
  • Watch out for button batteries, which could be swallowed easily by a child and avoid mixing old and new batteries as it may cause the batteries to overheat.

If you come across a toy that seems unsafe or doesn’t have a CE mark get in touch with us and let us know about the toy and where you bought it. We regularly post product recalls on our Facebook page. These include toys that were recalled due to safety concerns.

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