Parents, be careful! Check the safety of your children’s toys. The warning comes after nearly half of the toys tested in a recent study were found to be harmful.
Toys purchased online from sellers or third parties may cause choking, burning, or poisoning in children. The British Toy and Hobby Association is calling for changes to UK law to ban the sale of unsafe children’s toys by retailers online.
Two-year-old Rebecca can smile and laugh as she plays with her favorite toys. But earlier this year, a toy nearly took his life. He mistook some of the magnets for candy and swallowed them.
The magnets were purchased on the eBay site through a third party. So hard were the magnets that Rebecca’s intestines burst.
Of course it was a scary time for his mother, Sam McCarthy.
A survey of randomly selected toys has uncovered several potentially lethal objects flooding the online marketplace.
Eighty-eight per cent of items researched by the British Toy and Hobby Association were found to be illegal under UK safety law.
Forty-eight percent are unsafe and can cause people to suffocate, choke or be poisoned by chemicals. There is currently no legal obligation for online marketplaces to check the safety of the products on offer.
Jeremy Burnie, head of compliance at the British Toy and Hobby Association, said parents should always be vigilant. He gave one example of a dangerous toy. He said, “This stuffed crocodile was sold during our three-year project. We bought it every time we did a test on the online marketplace. The toy had a pull button (zipper) that opened with access to the inside of the doll, and the zipper came loose and broke into pieces. small children, which can cause choking or suffocation in young children, which is its target market.”
Burnie later added, “If you buy generic toys from third parties you really don’t know and you can’t see addresses and names, they really don’t have addresses in the UK and the EU, this is the most risky.”
eBay says it works closely with standards-setting authorities and has filters that block millions of unsafe listings.
But consumer agencies and trade organizations want UK laws to be tightened.
Neena Bhati of the consumer organization Which? stated, “No one checks that third-party retailers actually do security checks, and we believe today’s online marketplaces should have that legal responsibility.”
With many parents turning to online shopping to buy Christmas gifts for their families this time around, the cautionary warnings are increasingly urgent to heed, so that dream gifts don’t become a nightmare for them. [uh/ab]