A recent survey conducted by the Toy Association in the US has found that 95 per cent of parents purchase toys online, yet only 60 per cent of those ensure the seller is verified.
The American industry body has revealed the findings as it reinforces its message that safety should always be a priority when it comes to manufacturing and purchasing toys.
The group has also issued its own top four toy safety tips ahead of the 2018 holiday shopping period, a time in which online shopping figures typically rocket. Taking safety concerns “very seriously”, the Toy Association has stated that it is “committed year-round to educating parents and caregivers about safe play.”
Over the course of the year, issue surrounding unverified online vendors selling sub-standard or unsafe products have circled some of the toy industry’s biggest trends.
This summer, online platforms such as Amazon and eBay were called out for facilitating the sale of unregulated slime products. The products were found to breach safety standards by containing levels of the compound boron deemed unsafe by EU and UK laws.
The British Toy and Hobby Association has itself issued a statement regarding the prevalence of counterfeit toys entering the market, labeling it a heightened threat to its members.
“As well as the significant financial loss to reputable toy makers, counterfeit toys represent a real safety threat as it is highly unlikely that infringing products will comply with essential safety standards developed for the needs of children,” Kerri Atherton, public affairs manager at the BTHA told ToyNews in September.
“As a priority issue of the Association, we continue to raise the problem and explore solutions with government, enforcement bodies and directly with the channels through which toys are sold on behalf of our membership to stop dangerous, non-compliant products from entering the market.”
Current legislation absolves online traders such as Amazon or eBay of the responsibility of enforcing safety regulations on the products sold via their platforms. Instead, bodies such as the BTHA and the US Toy Association are continuing in their own efforts to educate the public on the importance of checking for safety certificates to help ensure the safety of children and the products they purchase.
The toy Association’s four tips to parents are to always follow the age label on toy packaging, separate tos in homes with multiple children, demonstrate and supervise and shop at a retailer you know and trust.