With less than three weeks until Christmas, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has warned parents to be on the lookout for unsafe toys when shopping for presents this year.
Mr Bleijie said as part of Operation Safe Christmas 2012, inspectors had pulled 66 suspicious product lines from shelves across Queensland and after testing 52 were judged unsafe.
“More toys are sold in the three months before Christmas than the rest of the year combined,” Mr Bleijie said.
“Unfortunately this tempts non-specialist traders that don’t understand safety standards to increase profits by stocking cheap toys during the festive season.
“Fair Trading officers have inspected more than 2,100 product lines across 424 retailers and five importers as part of this year’s blitz.
“The biggest safety failures found this year were in toys made for children aged three years or younger with 41 of the banned products falling into this category.
“Infants under three years old are more likely to suffer with a product-related injury which is why there are specific mandatory standards for toys targeting this age group.
“These toys must be able to withstand a decent amount of wear and tear and not have small detachable parts that can lodge in a child’s throat creating a choking risk.
“The main issues were toys failing the small parts test and not being labelled with warnings.
“As a father of three children, I understand the pressure Christmas can put on the family budget and the temptation to buy cheaper alternatives to some of the more expensive toys.
“I urge all parents to take care toy shopping and if in doubt to stick to specialty retailers that generally have comprehensive programs to ensure their products meet safety standards.”
Parents can 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.
For a full list and photos of this year’s unsafe toys visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).