QLD: Christmas toys under safety spotlight
With Christmas fast approaching, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has begun its annual safety check-up on children’s toys.
Office of Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said that Operation Safe Christmas 2013 will target toys with small parts, magnets, projectile toys, aquatic toys, battery-operated toys and banned products.
“We see a huge increase in the sale of toys in the three months before Christmas, and many non-specialist traders start to stock children’s toys,” Mr Bauer said.
“Unfortunately safety standards are not always adhered to, so it pays for parents to be mindful of the toys they are buying for their children.
“Retailers need to check that the products they sell are safe and appropriately age labelled.
“Our inspectors throughout the State will be visiting retail outlets and examining toys to make sure they don’t have small loose parts that could be swallowed by children under three.
“Button batteries contained in toys for the under threes and small high powered magnets are also on the hit list, after reported deaths of two small children involving these products.
“The Office of Fair Trading takes dozens of unsafe toys off the shelves every year, but parents still need to be vigilant.”
Mr Bauer said parents could conduct their own safety checks on toys against the Five S’s of Toy Safety:
- Size – the smaller the child the bigger the toy should be (anything smaller than a ping pong ball is too small for a child under three)
- Shape – be wary of products that may be easily swallowed or have sharp edges or points
- Surface – make sure all finishes are non-toxic (this should be stated on packaging)
- Strings – anything over 30cm is a choking hazard for a small child and should be removed
- Supervision – nothing replaces close supervision.
Last year, over 2000 product lines were checked from over 400 retailers, with 52 products removed from sale.
Any toys suspected of being unsafe can be reported to the OFT at www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).