Government issues guidance for parents on how to buy toys safely this Christmas

With Christmas just weeks away and parents everywhere setting out on a quest to get hold of this season’s must-have playthings, The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has partnered with Chartered Trading Standards Institute, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Child Accident Prevention Trust and Netmums to raise awareness of how to buy toys safely.

The OPSS guidelines are as follows:

Know who you are buying from

Wherever you are shopping, remember reputation matters. Is the seller widely recognised for safe and reliable toys? Get as much information on the seller as you can, especially if you’re buying from an online marketplace. Not everything sold on an online platform is supplied by them. If the actual supplier is not based in the UK, you may face heightened risks.

Always read the warnings and instructions

Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which are based on risks such as choking hazards. Always follow the age recommendations.

Consider special needs

Children with special needs might be more vulnerable, so keep this in mind when shopping.

Avoid toys with small parts

They can be a choking hazard.

Look out for strangulation hazards

Loose ribbons on toys and costumes can pose risks to young children.

Check the toys are for kids

Magnets can look like toys. Keep them away from children.

Compare the sellers

Bargains may be too good to be true. Compare the toy’s price with other sellers. If it’s a fraction of the cost, it’s likely to be counterfeit.

Check for button batteries

Ensure that any button batteries in a toy are safely behind a screwed down flap.

Check for product recalls

See if the toy you’re buying has been recalled at productrecallcampaign.gov.uk

Check before you wrap

Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which are based on risks such as choking hazards. Always follow the age recommendations.

A wealth of information about toy safety can also be found at the British Toy & Hobby Association website.

 

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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