Santa’s workshop on notice in annual toy safety blitz

Published: 
10 Dec 2010

Queensland Fair Trading safety officers have been out in force in the lead up to the festive season making sure children’s toys are safe so there are no nasty surprises on Christmas morning.

Queensland Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor said no-one was above reproach when it came to toy safety – not even Santa Claus.

“One of the great joys of Christmas is the giving and receiving of gifts, especially where children are involved,” Mr Lawlor said.

“Unfortunately joy can very quickly turn to tears if one of those gifts results in injury.

“That’s why Fair Trading conducts a pre-Christmas toy safety blitz each year - to find and remove unsafe toys from shelves so they don’t wind up under the Christmas tree.”

Queensland Fair Trading product safety officers have already visited more than 250 stores this year in the search for unsafe toys and have found 21 toys that required testing.

Of those, 13 failed to meet safety standards and have been pulled from shelves.

Mr Lawlor said while Queensland Fair Trading officers were busy making a list and checking it twice, parents could help the campaign to keep their little ones safe by following a few simple toy safety rules:

  • size – the smaller the child the bigger the toy should be (anything smaller than a 35mm film canister 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.

Mr Lawlor also advised parents to avoid Christmas day tears by ensuring they included appropriate safety gear when buying gifts for their children.

“Popular gifts such as bikes, skateboards and scooters can cause serious injury if not coupled with protective wear,” he said.

“In the excitement and rush of Christmas shopping, it’s easy to overlook important protective wear such as helmets, elbow pads and knee pads, but they are vitally important for protecting active children.

“No parent wants to see the look of joy on their child’s face turn to tears when they realise they can’t ride their new bike because they don’t have a helmet.

“Nor do they want to spend Christmas day in the emergency department.”

List of unsafe toys discovered:

2 toy trains - released small parts

1 toy fire engine- released small parts

1 toy squeaky hammer - released small parts

3 types of pop-n-catch projectile toys - projectile fails small part test

2 types of rubber duck squeeze bath toys - released small parts

1 toy steering wheel - released small parts

2 projectile toy guns - projectile fails small parts test

1 wooden car with beads - released small parts

Contact details

Queensland Fair Trading can be contacted on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
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