FAQ Friday: Are the toys and accessories for St. Patrick’s Day safe for my children?

February 24, 2023

On the last Friday of every month, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) from the hundreds of consumers who contact us. For this FAQ Friday, we answer your product safety questions ahead of St. Patrick’s Day.

What should I look out for before I buy toys for my children this St. Patrick’s Day?

Toys sold in the EU must meet specific safety regulations. Whether you buy from a shop, online, or from a street vendor, all children’s toys must carry the CE mark. It should be on the toy, the label or the packaging. In the case of a small toy, it may be on the leaflet that comes with it and it should be visible and easy to read.

You should always buy toys from a reputable and trustworthy retailer. Before you give a toy to your child, you should:

  • Look for a CE mark
  • Check for the name and address of the manufacturer and importer on the toy or packaging
  • Beware of detachable small parts that could get stuck in a child’s ears, nose and throat
  • If powered by button batteries, make sure the battery compartment is secure
  • Always read the instructions carefully

Some of the costumes and accessories I bought for my children to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day don’t have a CE mark. Are they safe to use?

Children’s costumes are classified as toys, so they must carry a CE mark. If you bought a St. Patrick’s Day costume that does not have a CE mark, then it may not be safe for your child. You should stop using it and return it to the shop or online store that you bought it from. You should also report your product safety concerns to the CCPC.

However, you should bear in mind that not all accessories must carry the CE mark. Certain items that are not classified as toys and for use in play by children may not be required to have a CE mark. However, these items should be safe and meet general product safety laws. A business that sells products that are not covered by toy safety regulations, should make sure that the products are safe and in line with the  General Product Safety Regulations. Get more information about safety standards at nsai.ie.

Top Tip

Before you give any toy or accessory to your child, make sure it is suitable for their age. Accessories should be made from soft flexible materials. Watch out for any small parts or batteries that may come loose, to avoid the possibility of a child swallowing them.

How do I know if face paint is safe for my children?

You should always be cautious with novelty face paint. If you’re buying face paints:

  • Buy from a reputable business and make sure the product shows the business EU name and the address to contact them
  • Always check the product has clear details of ingredients, along with instructions and safety information in English
  • The CE mark, along with the manufacturer and importer contact details, should be visible on the packaging
  • Check if there are any warnings saying the face paint is not suitable to use on children

Remember, if you are not sure that a product is safe for a child to use, don’t buy it. Find out more about product safety.

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Facebook: /CCPC.ie   
Twitter: @CCPCIreland   
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