One third of parents buy toys without safety mark
Thousands of parents are prepared to buy toys that have not been tested to ensure they are safe, research conducted on behalf of the State's consumer watchdog has found.
Most parents are aware of the CE safety mark but large numbers of them are still willing to risk purchasing toys without the mark.
Rip-off Disney products and games are the most likely to be traded in the black market at Christmas.
Authentic toys have a CE mark on them, which is a mandatory conformity marking for certain products sold within the EU. It stands for Conformité Européenne, meaning European conformity.
The survey found that three out of five adults were aware the CE mark should be displayed on children's toys, the research conducted for the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission found.
But despite being aware of the importance of the safety marking, one in three parents would still buy toys that do not display it, the survey shows.
Parents emerged as one of the least vigilant groups when it comes to choosing toys labelled safe. Older people were more likely to seek out safe toys.
The survey was conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes among 1,001 adults. The CE mark is an indication that the toy meets the requirements of the toy safety regulations and standards.
Toy manufacturers may also include appropriate age recommendations and warnings in relation to physical hazards such as choking risks due to small detachable parts or additional hazards.
Director at the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Fergal O'Leary warned parents to be vigilant about toy safety at Christmas.
He added: "Product safety legislation imposes a duty on manufacturers to ensure that products placed on the market are safe and do not pose a risk to the health or safety of consumers.
"All toys must carry a CE mark, and toys or their packaging must contain the name and address of the manufacturer and the importer, if different."
Mr O'Leary urged parents and anyone buying toys as gifts for children to ensure the toys they buy meet the relevant safety standards, are age appropriate for the child in question, and are bought from a reputable retailer.
The research shows that purchasing something age appropriate is a consideration for 75pc of toy buyers.