Fake toys can be bought online and from dubious retailers. Despite looking like the genuine article, often these phoney items are low-quality, are missing parts or quite simply do not work. Worryingly, in some cases fake toys can cause significant injuries and accidents.
Earlier this year, trading standards teams at local councils across England and Wales found more than 54,000 ‘cuddly but deadly’
counterfeit teddy bears which posed a choking hazard, along with thousands of electric scooters without safety documentation. Thankfully these items were intercepted before they could do any harm to children.
Similarly, fake versions of one of last year’s must-have toys, L.O.L Surprise Dolls
, have been found to contain phthalates, a chemical which can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system. In 2018, Staffordshire County Council seized 17 different types of LOL! Surprise Dolls that cost around £3 each, but retail for around £11 online.
But are you confident you could spot a fake toy?
Here are some tips to follow when Christmas shopping for the kids:
- Check for the CE symbol. This is a claim by the manufacturer that the toy meets regulatory requirements. Products without the CE mark may not be intended to be used as toys, but are novelties which may not be safe for children to play with
- Look out for bad grammar or misspellings on the packaging – this may indicate the toy is a fake. If in any doubt refer to the official website for the manufacturer and compare the packaging, colours and descriptions with authentic merchandise
- Buy from suppliers with a good reputation for safe and reliable toys. Many will be members of trade associations whose rules call on them to meet high standards
Santa’s helpers: leading the fight against dangerous toys.
- Be suspicious if you see a product for sale that is vastly cheaper than you have seen it elsewhere. This could be a tell-tale sign that the item is a forgery.
This year, RoSPA is collaborating with other child safety charities and the Office for Product Safety and Standards to help shoppers make informed choices when purchasing toys.
To help avoid accidents on Christmas Day, RoSPA and our partners have published a helpful list of tips
to ensure toys are age-appropriate and safe to be played with.
- Button battery safety: Christmas toys may have button batteries which can prove lethal if ingested. Check they are screwed in safely before giving to a child
- Tidy up: Boxes, plastic bags and wires can be a hazard. Clear away all packaging once everything’s unwrapped
- Choking hazards: Avoid toys with small parts or loose fabric – they can be a choking hazard.
For more advice about how to stay safe at playtime see RoSPA’s toy safety advice
Posted: 12/17/2019 4:46:15 PM