Eastwood retailer fined for ignoring product safety
New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts today said an Eastwood retailer had been ordered to pay $1,916 by Parramatta Local Court for selling toys that posed a serious safety risk to children.
Mr Roberts said Topstar International Pty Ltd, trading as Dollar Store 123 Eastwood, was convicted of supplying four types of unsafe children’s toys.
“In October last year, Fair Trading investigators visited the store at Eastwood Shopping Plaza and found on sale the children’s squeeze toys, blue mouse, yellow rabbit, pink dog and pink monkey,” he said.
“Rigorous testing revealed the toys failed to meet the requirements of the Australian toy standard due to small parts coming loose, potentially causing a choking hazard for young children.”
The individual squeeze toys found on sale at Eastwood were identical to those found by Fair Trading, packaged together in pairs, in October 2009 at a previous business owned by the trader, “Dollar Store 123 Parramatta”.
At this time, there was a product recall and the trader was issued with a penalty infringement notice for this offence.
Mr Roberts said one of the most important areas of product safety relates to children’s toys.
“Suppliers and retailers of children’s toys must understand their obligations and obey the law,” he said.
“These laws exist to protect children from toys that pose a risk of injury and I congratulate Fair Trading for their tireless work in protecting our youngest consumers.”
Member for Ryde Victor Dominello said this result sends a strong message to suppliers that Fair Trading regularly inspects the marketplace.
“In the last financial year, Fair Trading investigators visited more than 1,300 retail outlets in more than 300 towns, inspecting half a million toys,” he said.
Under the Australian Consumer Law introduced on 1 January 2011 traders face fines of up to $1,100,000 for corporations and $220,000 for individuals for supplying products that do not meet product safety regulations.
Mr Roberts said Fair Trading would not hesitate to take similar action against any supplier exposing the public to such dangerous products.
Tips on buying toys for children:
- buy washable, non-breakable toys for babies
- read the labelling on new toys. ‘Not suitable for children aged under three’ means there are small parts that could be swallowed – it is not an indication of skill level or intelligence
- check toys regularly for loose parts that may be choking dangers. Always read the label and any safety warnings
- toy chests and boxes should have a removable lid. Anything big enough to crawl inside must have ventilation holes, including tents. Helmets and masks must also have ventilation holes
- check that there are no gaps or holes that could trap a child’s fingers
- be wary of toys that make loud noises – they can be harmful to hearing
- check for sharp edges or rough surfaces – they can cause cuts and splinters
- ensure ride-on toys are appropriate for the age of the child and are stable
- check magnetic toys for loose magnets. If magnets are swallowed they may cause blockage of the digestive system and serious injury.
NSW Fair Trading 13 32 20