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Residents urged to buy toys from reputable suppliers this Christmas

Be Toy Safe at Christmas - image of toys

As Christmas approaches, Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team is encouraging people to enjoy this special time of the year and keep loved ones safe by only buying toys from reputable sources, and to follow some simple precautions when buying toys online -    

  • Buy toys from a reputable retailer - Check that there is a name and address for the manufacturer on the site and if this information is not available, do not buy the toy. Read ratings and reviews to make sure the retailer has a good reputation for safe and reliable toys. 
  • Always read the warnings and instructions - Heed the age restrictions: toys must be marked with age restrictions based on risks such as choking hazards. 
  • Check that the toy is suitable for the intended recipient - Festive novelties can look like toys when they should be kept away from children  
  • Ensure the toy has not been recalled - Check if the toy you are buying has been recalled at 
  • Check for button batteries - If a toy has button batteries make sure they are safely behind a screwed-down flap. 
  • Beware of potential toy hazards - Avoid buying toys with small parts as they can be a choking hazard. Think before buying toys and costumes with loose ribbons as they can pose strangulation risks to young children. 
  • Buy genuine toys - Compare the toy’s price with other retailers and sellers. If it is a fraction of the cost, it is likely to be counterfeit. 

Jane Tomlinson from Cornwall Trading Standards says: “We want consumers to be conscious of potential dangers when buying toys.  

Jane went on to say “Some children, particularly those under three or those with additional needs, are less able to cope with particular toys and are therefore more vulnerable to injury, particularly to choking. There will also be significant differences in abilities of children in the same age group so please consider this when buying toys.

Check that the toy carries the CE and/or the UKCA mark, which indicates that it complies with toy safety standards, and that it is accompanied by clear instructions for use and relevant safety information, such as the requirement for adult supervision or the need to use additional personal protective equipment”. 

Cllr Martyn Alvey, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment adds: “Tackling the sale of unsafe and counterfeit toys is a constant challenge for Trading Standards, with the sheer number of online sellers and products available from around the world, some with different safety standards. I urge everyone to follow the advice and take care when buying toys this Christmas.” 

For consumer advice or to report unsafe products in England and Wales, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.  

Office for Product Safety and Standards 

CTSI, on behalf of the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has updated their “Selling goods via online platforms” guidance. Businesses can learn more about their legal obligations when selling online via a third-party website.

Selling goods via online platforms | Business Companion  

Story posted 16 December 2021

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