Consumer products safety regulatory board UL has urged parents to be mindful of the products that they buy for their children after a slew of product recalls have hit national toy chains.
“Consumers should make sure that they read and check warning and age information on a product prior to purchase to ensure that it’s suitable for the child,” explains Hendrik Dold, marketing manager at UL. “Always ensure that the toy you buy has a CE mark present, and always look out for counterfeit products as they may present a higher risk of non-compliance and should be avoided.”
Over the past month Toys R Us was forced to recall the Kids II Oball Rattle due to a hazard being found in its core, while Smyths experienced similar problems with their Safari Ball Pit, which has raised safety concerns from several locations.
Elsewhere Tesco has recalled its Wooden Alphabet Pull-Along.
In the wake of the numerous recalls, largely around the pre- school sector, many have argued that toy firms are simply not taking enough precautions to ensure the safety of their products at the design stage.
“Manufacturers should be performing a safety assessment to ensure that the product does not present an unreasonable hazard to the user, this is a requirement within the UK Toy Safety Regulations and should be being executed on products prior to them being placed on the market,” Dold told ToyNews in an exclusive interview piece.
“Working alongside a safety lab or a consultant is often a good option where the manufacturer or designer needs assistance.”
However, some online retailers have faced criticism for not adhering to trading standards at all. One such retailer is Wish.com who found itself in hot water when a child was found with their teddy bear’s wiring around its neck.
“From a testing perspective there does not appear to be an increase in toys which fail during laboratory assessments. However, unsafe toys in the market does continue to be an issue we must deal with,” adds Dold.
Despite the product recalls over the past month, Dold reassures it isn’t a regular occurence.
“Pre-school has always been a popular area of the market so we don’t see a correlation in the products we receive for assessment,” he concluded.