The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s pre-Christmas safety check of nearly 3,300 toys in stores and online, has found seven potentially dangerous toys that fail mandatory safety requirements.
The affected products include four stuffed/plush toys that produce small parts and choking hazards when subject to tension testing; one musical toy that produces small parts when dropped from a height; and two projectile toys that fail to warn consumers to not aim at others’ eyes or faces.
“Children are particularly vulnerable as consumers, and unsafe toys shouldn’t reach their hands at any time,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
The ACCC surveyed toys across a wide range of retail outlets for compliance with mandatory standards relating to choking hazards, projectile toys and unsafe levels of lead and other elements.
“Kids under three have underdeveloped coughing reflexes and they can easily choke or suffocate if a small object gets stuck in their throat, so toys for kids this age must not have any small parts that can easily come off or accessible battery compartments,” Ms Rickard said.
“Children can also suffer serious eye and face injuries from projectile toys that can shoot sharp objects at a high speed, so there are rules about how these toys are designed, constructed, tested, and labelled.”
While the ACCC’s survey shows general compliance is high, it only takes one unsafe toy to seriously injure a child.
The ACCC and state and territory regulators regularly conduct market surveillance activities to remove non-compliant toys from the Australian marketplace.
“Businesses must make sure their products comply with Australian mandatory safety standards. The ACCC’s regular surveillance of this market is a timely reminder about the requirements to comply,” Ms Rickard said.
The ACCC has negotiated recalls with the affected products’ suppliers and is considering enforcement action in accordance with the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement policy.
Businesses can face infringement penalties of up to $10,800 or court-imposed fines of up to $1.1 million for selling products that fail to meet mandatory safety standards.
Safety tips for consumers
- Check for recalled toys and other products at www.recalls.gov.au.
- Seek urgent medical attention if toys or parts are swallowed or if your child becomes sick after placing objects in his or her mouth.
- Supervise your child at all times while they play with toys to ensure they don’t try to swallow a toy or part, or try to break off part of a toy.
- Choose toys that are age-appropriate and note any age-grading labels.
- Use the ACCC’s free Choke Check tool to check items for potential choking hazards: www.productsafety.gov.au/chokecheck.
- Dispose of toys if small parts or magnets become broken or loose. If you’re concerned that a toy is unsafe, you can report it: www.productsafety.gov.au/reportanunsafeproduct.
More information is available on the Product Safety Australia website.
Three various plush toys – unbranded
JQ Baby musical toy
Just One Year plush toy
|Super Archery projectile toy and Super Bow and Arrow Game projectile toy|
Use this form to make a general enquiry.