Over 51,000 “unsafe” or “non-compliant” children’s toys destroyed in Ireland
The risks found in over 51,000 toys ranged from potential choke hazards to chemical issues.
Over 51,000 children’s toys have been destroyed in Ireland, having been found to be “unsafe” or “non-compliant”.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has revealed that it has destroyed approximately 51,392 potentially unsafe children’s toys ahead of a warning to consumers to be safety aware when buying gifts, particularly children’s toys, this Christmas.
The CCPC, in conjunction with Revenue’s Customs Service, examined a number of toy consignments over several years from different importers, including 51,392 potentially unsafe children’s toys, a haul weighing approximately 6,000kg.
The products examined included soft toys, teddy bears, toy guns, inflatable toys with small parts and battery operated toy dogs.
Following its investigations, the CCPC found that these products did not meet the relevant EU and Irish safety standards and regulations and, therefore, were deemed to be unsafe for use by Irish consumers.
The risks ranged from potential choke hazards to chemical issues and contravened several toy safety regulations.
The CCPC says that products which do not meet safety standards can be dangerous and has created a checklist of what to look out for to ensure consumers are safety aware this Christmas:
- Look for the CE Mark: Check for the CE mark on children’s toys before you buy them. The CE mark is a manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with EU safety regulations and standards. The CE mark should appear on the product, in the instruction manual or on the packaging and be easy to read. When buying toys online, check for the CE mark as soon as they arrive. If there is no visible CE mark, it may be an indication that the toys do not meet the required safety standards and should be returned. Under consumer protection law, you have 14 days from when your goods arrive to notify the business that you wish to cancel your order and a further 14 days to return them.
- Always Buy from Reputable Retailers: Buying from a reputable retailer will help you to avoid unsafe, non-compliant toys, or toys with a fake CE mark. If you are buying online, it can be hard to know who you are buying from, so it’s important to do some quick research, check reviews and social media pages. Check where the business is based. If you can’t find this information easily, approach with caution. If the business is based outside of the EU, you may consider finding an alternative EU store to ensure you have stronger rights should an issue arise in the future. Carefully check toys purchased online and toys bought second-hand.
- Check for Detachable Parts Smaller than a €2 Coin: One of the biggest dangers for children is small or detachable parts of toys, as they can lodge in their ears, nose or throat, and cause an injury, or be a choking hazard to small children. A good reference point is a €2 coin, to help you assess the suitability of toys or small, detachable parts, as anything smaller than this could be a potential choking hazard for children aged 0-3 years.
- Check the age range: Check age guidance instructions on all children’s toys, in particular 0-3 years, before you buy them. Age labelling is the manufacturer's way of telling you whether the toys are safe for a child of a particular age. It is also important to consider any younger children who may be in the household and who might be in danger if they play with the toy also.
- Check for sharp edges, long cords or cables: Be sure to avoid dangerous or fold-away parts or small holes that could trap children’s fingers.
More information on product safety and shopping online this Christmas is available on the CCPC website.
Consumers who wish to report unsafe products, or products suspected of carrying a fake CE mark can contact the CCPC via a dedicated consumer helpline on 1890 432 432.