All consumer products placed in the market place must be safe and conform either to specific European or national safety standards for the type of goods that they are or general product safety legislation if there is no specific standard.
Flintshire Trading Standards have a duty to investigate all instances of the manufacture or distribution of unsafe products within Flintshire. We carry out routine inspections and make test purchases of potentially unsafe products which are submitted for testing. We may seize goods or suspend the distribution of potentially unsafe products and where appropriate prosecute those responsible for their manufacture and distribution.
If you are a manufacturer, importer or distributor of goods and require any advice at all in relation to product safety please contact us. If you are a consumer who wishes to report a matter in relation to possible unsafe goods please contact us.
Consider – How Old Is The Child?
Many toys now bear warnings that they are unsuitable for children under 3 years of age, often due to the presence of small parts which, if a young child were to put into their mouth, could present a possible choking hazard.
Examine The Labelling
Where necessary, manufacturers are under a legal obligation to mark their toys with such age warning information. However, it is essential that consumers carefully examine toys and their instructions before purchase, to ensure that the toy is suitable for the age of the child that they are buying it for. Toys should not be bought for, and given to, children under 3; if they are labelled with such an age warning. Consumers should be aware that the law allows manufacturers to label toys with the age warning in the form of a logo with 0-3 and an unhappy baby’s face. This symbol is warning consumers that the toy might be hazardous to a child under 3 years of age. If consumers see this symbol on toys then they need to be aware that the toy is not safe for children under that age. It is often the case that the purchaser focuses on the design and appearance of the toy itself and does not take account of the warnings and instructions that accompany it.
Toys Must Be...
Under the Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995, retailers must only supply toys (that is any item designed or clearly intended for use in play by a child under the age of 14) if:
The toy is safe and meets stringent safety standards The toy is labelled with the ‘CE’ mark. This is a declaration by the manufacturer that the toy meets the requirements of the Toys (Safety)Regulations.
The toy is labelled with the manufacturers or importers name and address.
The toy bears any relevant warnings to ensure the safe use of the toy.
The following guidance should be followed whenever buying toys for children:
- Do - Buy from reputable shops and traders
- Do - If buying over the internet, buy from reputable web sites to reduce the risk of being supplied with unsafe (and possibly counterfeit) toys
- Do - Look for safety signs in addition to the “CE” mark (e.g. the British Toy and Hobby Association ‘Lionmark’)
- Do - Have regard to the toys suitability for the age of the child (look for age warnings e.g. Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts)
- Do - Retain packaging with safety information and instructions for safe use
- Do - Examine toys carefully for sharp edges or points
- Do - Beware of toys with small parts which could be a choking hazard for young children
- Do - Report any dangerous faults to the Trading Standards Service
- Don’t - Buy from car boots, street sellers etc
- Don’t - Buy toys without a “CE” mark
- Don’t - Give toys with small pieces, which could be a choking hazard, to young children
- Don’t - Give small children tree decorations, imitation food, Christmas crackers etc. to play with
- Don’t - Let children play with broken toys, they may no longer comply with safety standards
- Don’t - Forget to keep older children’s toys away from the toddler or baby
- Don’t - Forget to remove plastic bags before giving a toy to a child
The Trading Standards Service and toy safety
Across the UK Local Authority Trading Standards departments work closely with businesses to ensure the toys they supply are safe and meet relevant standards, such goods are regularly tested to ensure that what is being sold throughout the UK is safe. If unsafe toys are found, action will be taken to remove them from the market, with enforcement action being taken where necessary.
If consumers have concerns about the safety of the toys that they purchase, they should contact Consumer Direct on 03454 04 05 06.
Telephone: 01352 703181
Write: Trading Standards, Environment Directorate, Flintshire County Council, County Hall, Mold, CH7 6NF