Buying toys online: keep it safe

Published: 
20 Nov 2020

This World Children’s Day, we urge parents and loved ones buying toys online to check that they’re safe and to report any product safety issues, as part of an international campaign on the safety of toys sold online.

Buying toys online? Keep it SAFE!Click to enlarge

The ACCC is co-leading the OECD global awareness campaign on the safety of toys sold online, which aims to help consumers make an informed decision when buying toys online, and enhance sellers’ understanding about selling safe toys online and removing unsafe toys immediately from sale.

One of the world's most recalled products

20% of consumer product recalls on the OECD GlobalRecalls portal in 2019 were for toys.

Around 1 in 10 consumer product safety recall notices in Australia are for toys. We receive, on average, almost 40 toy recall notices a year and have received almost 300 mandatory injury reports relating to toys over the last 5 years.

A large and growing global marketplace

In Australia in 2019, online retail spending accounted for 11.3% of the total retail spend for that year. It’s predicted that this figure will rise to 15% by the end of 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic influencing an increased shift to online shopping and trading. 

Tips for buying and selling toys online

Consumers buying toys online cannot physically examine the toy as they would when shopping in store – they have to rely on information that is available online. It’s important that consumers shopping online know what to look for to buy safe toys, and what to do if they purchase an unsafe toy.

For online sellers, it’s important to know how to reduce the risk of selling an unsafe toy and manage compliance.

 

Check for button batteries. Toys are the most common reported source of serious injuries and exposures related to these tiny batteries. Ingestion by young children can cause very serious injury and even death.

Buying toys online? Keep it FUN!

  • Find out: Check information about the seller. Ensure that the toy has not been banned or recalled. Check if it contains button batteries.
  • Understand: Take note of safety warnings, information, labels and appropriate age
  • Notify: Report safety issues and, where possible, register the product with the manufacturer

Checklist when buying toys online

Buying toys online? Before you buy: Confirm the toy is not recalled. Review all product and safety information. Ensure the seller has contact details if you have any questions. Buy from a website you trust. After you buy: Depending on the age of your child, inspect the toy and make sure there are: No small parts, that detach especially if children under 3 years of age are present in the household. No sharp edges or points. No long cords that can wrap around a child’s neck. No loose, broken or easy to open battery compartments. Register the toy with the manufacturer if possible to receive safety updates. Sign-up to receive recall and product safety updates from the ACCC.

Selling toys online? Keep it SAFE!

  • Sell safe toys
  • Assist consumers by providing accessible and reliable information before purchase
  • Follow regulations that apply to the toys you sell – including mandatory standards, bans and mandatory reporting of injuries
  • Engage with your supply chain, including online platforms and consumers, to ensure recalled and non-compliant toys are immediately removed from sale online

Checklist for selling toys online

Selling toys online? Ensure there are no small parts in toys for children under the age of three. Identify risks and hazards the product may represent during its use (including foreseeable misuse). Organise testing of toys against mandatory standards and bans, well as against other hazards identified by certified and accredited test laboratories when appropriate. Provide clear and easily accessible information to consumers prior to transaction and payment confirmation: Key characteristics of the product. Age grading/age restrictions. Assembly and safe use instructions. Warning labels. Toy images and videos. Other information that would be available physically in-store or on the toy packaging. Ensure information online adapts to the device or platform used to purchase the toy. Provide consumers with a direct point of contact (preferably local) for more information. Consider compliance with domestic (voluntary) and global trust mark schemes and standards, such as Australian Standards.

More information

Buying & selling safe products online

COVID-19: Product safety at home

COVID-19: Supplying safe goods

Product recalls

Banned small high powered magnets

Product category