QLD: Santa’s toy safety helpers

Published: 
14 Dec 2015

Office of Fair Trading (OFT) product safety inspectors have finished their annual state-wide Christmas toy safety checks – keeping your children in safe hands this Christmas.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said close to 7,200 product lines in more than 290 stores across Queensland had been checked with a particular focus on toys for children aged under three years and toys with magnets.

Forty product lines were removed from sale. Following further testing and corrective action by suppliers, 6 product lines were cleared, but 34 will not be seen on shelves again.

“The vast majority of Queensland traders were selling only safe Christmas toys,” Mr Bauer said.

“However, there is still some scope for improvement by businesses in the retail and import sectors and OFT will continue to work with these traders to make sure they are complying with the safety standards for toys in Australia.”

A wide range of stores were inspected, from the larger established chains, through to discount stores, pop-up shops and markets. Tested products included finger paints, EVA foam toys, projectile toys, portable pools and soft plush toys.

Mr Bauer said toys may appear cute and harmless, but when put through testing, could present multiple and serious risks ranging from choking and projectile hazards to toxic substances.

“In some cases, mandatory safety warning information was missing from packaging,” Mr Bauer said.

The OFT takes an educative approach with toy safety and regularly conducts training sessions with retail groups on mandatory safety standards to show businesses how to comply with those standards.

Parents are urged to follow the Five S's of Toy Safety to conduct their own safety checks:

  • Size: the smaller the child the bigger the toy should be (anything smaller than a 35 millimetre film canister or ping pong ball is too small for a child under three).
  • Shape: be wary of products that, because of their shape, 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 strangulation hazard for a small child and should be removed.
  • Supervision: nothing replaces close supervision

“Adopt a policy of ‘the smaller the child, the bigger the toy’ and remember the best way to have a safe Christmas is to ensure constant adult supervision of young children and their toys,” said Mr Bauer.

More information, including photos of the unsafe products removed from sale during Operation Safe Christmas 2015, is available from www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.

Contact details

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

Media contact: 07 3247 5968 or 07 3247 5965

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