ACCC Safety Check Reveals Unsafe Toys Ahead Of Christmas

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will recall seven potentially dangerous toys ahead of Christmas.The ACCC has stated that its pre-Christmas safety check of nearly 3,300 toys in stores and online found “seven potentially dangerous toys that fail mandatory safety requirements”, with toys surveyed 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”.

“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,” the ACCC advised.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard  noted that “children are particularly vulnerable as consumers”, stating that “unsafe toys shouldn’t reach their hands at any time”.

“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,” Rickard commented.

“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.”

The ACCC noted that, while its survey shows general compliance is high, “it only takes one unsafe toy to seriously injure a child”.

“Businesses must make sure their products comply with Australian mandatory safety standards,” Rickard commented. “The ACCC’s regular surveillance of this market is a timely reminder about the requirements to comply.”

The ACCC stated that it has negotiated recalls with the affected products’ suppliers and is considering enforcement action in accordance with its 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,” the ACCC states.

The ACCC offers the following safety tips for consumers:

– Check for recalled toys and other products here.
– 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 – information here.
– 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 here.

Further information is available at the Product Safety Australia website.

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