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How to buy toys safely this Christmas

Written by: Emma Lunn
A group of organisations have teamed up to provide safety guidance on how to avoid buying dangerous toys for children.

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.

Earlier this year a report by Which? found that 40% of toys bought from online marketplaces failed safety tests. The consumer champion tested 28 toys bought from Amazon Marketplace, AliExpress, eBay and Wish, and found 12 posed a safety risk after failing one or more tests.

OPSS tips for buying toys safely

Know who you are buying from

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.

Check for hazards

Toys with small parts can be a choking hazard, while loose ribbons on toys and costumes can be strangulation hazards for young children. You should also avoid magnets that look like toys – magnets should be kept 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

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