SAFETY testing has begun on toys for sale online and in Warwickshire.
Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards team is testing for toys containing banned chemicals, toys for toddlers with small detachable parts, and those posing hazards such as finger traps.
More toys will be ordered over the internet this year than ever before and Trading Standards officers will be focusing on toys sold online, including those bought from manufacturers based outside the UK or EU or sold by dropshipping – when the product is ordered directly from the supplier to the consumer.
Officers will be purchasing suspect toys before getting them tested. Any with problems will be removed from online platforms, withdrawn from sale and product recall notices issued to warn consumers.
Warwickshire County Council safety spokesman Coun Andy Crump said: “With a growing number of online platforms on which to sell toys, including social media, it has never easier to both manufacture and sell toys to anyone anywhere across the world.
“Unfortunately, this has also meant more opportunities for unscrupulous businesses to sell toys direct to Warwickshire consumers that may be dangerous.
“We strongly urge consumers to follow our top tips to buying a safe toy and we have also produced guidance for Warwickshire toy retailers, importers and manufacturers on what they need to do to comply with the law.”
Tips for buying safe toys:
– Where possible, buy toys from reputable sellers. Although they may cost a little more it is often to ensure the product has had quality and safety checks.
– Cheap counterfeit versions of products, especially the latest fad or toy, are often poor quality and can easily break or, in some cases, be dangerous.
– Look for the CE mark and ensure the present is age suitable for the child receiving it. The voluntary Toy and Hobby Association ‘Lion Mark’ also indicates the product complies with legal safety rules.
– Check the toy for loose pile fabric or small detachable parts that could choke a young child, and sharp points and edges or finger traps.
– Be particularly careful when buying second hand toys which often come without packaging or instructions.
– Button batteries power many small toys but are dangerous if swallowed. Battery compartments should be lockable.
– Toys should have the name and address of the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is outside of the EU, the name and address of the manufacturer and the EU importer. Beware of toys that do not carry this information
Consumers can report unsafe toys to Warwickshire Trading Standards Service at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards.