More than 15000 dangerous toys seized before Christmas
More than 15,000 dangerous toys have been seized in Victoria in a Pre-Christmas toy safety blitz, Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson said today.
Mr Robinson said the toys were seized because they did not comply with mandatory safety standards and ban orders.
“The State Government is taking action to protect the health and safety of Victorian children by inspecting and seizing dodgy toys so they don’t end up under the tree at Christmas,” he said.
“We have enacted very strict safety standards and ban orders to ensure toys available for sale in Victoria don’t pose unnecessary risks to our kids.
“All of the toys seized in the pre-Christmas blitz are dangerous. Poorly designed and breakable toys can cut, choke or strangle children. Dangerous toy guns that fire projectiles can blind and toxic levels of lead in painted toys can make kids very sick if ingested.”
During the pre-Christmas toy safety blitz, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) officers inspected 211 premises in metropolitan and regional Victoria, including wholesalers, distributors and retailers.
Banned or non-compliant toys seized included:
- 4701 toys for under three year olds with small and breakable parts that could choke or cut children or had easy to access batteries
- 293 yo-yo balls with cords, which pose a strangulation hazard
- 1705 toys that shoot out projectiles, which can injure children’s eyes
- 8685 imitation dummies, which pose a choking hazard, and
- 89 expanding toys, which can expand in the throat or stomach and cause serious injury.
Mr Robinson said in addition to the Pre-Christmas Blitz, CAV undertakes ongoing inspections throughout the year to ensure products sold in Victoria are safe for consumers.
“During the 2008/09 financial year, CAV officers conducted nearly 500 inspections resulting the seizure and destruction of more than more than 11,000 toys,” he said.
“Victorian families can feel more confident toys available for sale do not pose unnecessary risks to their children.”
When buying toys for children, Mr Robinson advised consumers to:
- Check for sharp edges or rough surfaces that could cause cuts and splinters
- Buy sturdy, non-breakable toys for babies
- Buy toys that are age-appropriate and ensure that young children do not play with toys meant for older children
- Check for gaps or holes that could trap fingers
- Be careful about toys that make loud noises as they could be harmful to ears
- Remove any loose magnets from toy boxes, as these pose particular dangers if swallowed, and
- Always supervise babies and young children while they play.
Traders who do not comply with the mandatory standards and bans can face prosecution and fines of more than $70,000.
Mr Robinson also encouraged parents and consumers to contact the Toy and Nursery Safety Line on freecall 1300 36 48 94 for important product safety information.
Information is also available on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
Toy and Nursery Safety Line: 1300 36 48 94
Consumer Affairs Helpline: 1300 55 81 81