How to shop for safe toys this Christmas

November 22, 2021

With shopping season officially in full swing, whether you’re hitting the high street or shopping online, it’s important to be vigilant when shopping for kids, particularly toys.

With that in mind, here are some helpful tips and some of the warning signs you need to look out for when buying toys:

  • Always buy toys from trustworthy retailers. Businesses, by law, are required to ensure that the products they sell meet EU and Irish safety standards.
  • Check for the CE mark – if the toy does not have the CE mark, don’t buy it. The CE mark is a manufacturer’s declaration that the toy meets all EU safety regulations and standards. The mark can usually be found on the toy itself, in the instruction manual or on the packaging. Sometimes, the CE mark can be faked so be sure to check the toy thoroughly.
    CE Mark
  • Check for any warnings about the appropriate age for the toy.
  • Check for detachable small parts that could lodge in the ears, nose or throat, and cause an injury or a choke hazard to a child.
  • Watch out for toys containing magnets as they can be harmful if swallowed. Toys with magnets should have a warning displayed at the point of sale, on the packaging or attached to the toy.
  • Check for batteries. If the toy uses batteries, make sure the child can’t open the part of the toy where the batteries are stored. Don’t mix old and new batteries or different strength batteries in the toy as this can make the old or weaker batteries very hot. Also, keep watch or ‘button’ batteries away from small children as these can be dangerous if swallowed.
  • Remember, you have consumer rights when it comes to toys you buy this Christmas if you run into a problem. If the toy is faulty or not as described, you have a right to a refund, exchange or repair. When buying toys online, you have up to 14 days to return the item if you change your mind. Always hold on to any receipts or proof of purchase for any toys you buy, in case you have issues further down the line.

If you suspect a toy isn’t safe for children, don’t buy it. Last year, the CCPC destroyed 51,000 unsafe toys that didn’t comply with safety standards, ranging from soft toys and teddy bears to toy guns and battery operated toys. For more tips and information on toy safety check here.

If you want to report unsafe products, or toys suspected of carrying a fake CE mark, contact us.

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