Tuesday 12 December 2017

Promotion: This Christmas, make a toy safety checklist – and check it twice!

Picture posed; Getty Images
Picture posed; Getty Images

Christmas is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing - letters have been sent to the North Pole, and promises to be good (at least until the 26th of December!) have been made.

There are loads of new “must-have” toys out this year, so the chances are that Santa might need a helping hand this Christmas.

You may also be buying gifts for nieces, nephews, cousins, and more.

If this is the case, it’s important to know how to check that the toys you are buying are safe, so luckily for you the National Consumer Agency has lots of toy safety tips to help you out.

Here’s a few to get you started…

Look out for the CE mark

You may have heard about the CE mark before, but perhaps you’re not sure what is actually is.

Put simply, if this mark is displayed on a product that is for sale in Ireland, it shows that the product complies with EU consumer safety, health or environmental requirements.

The mark should be visible on the product itself, or on its packaging.

Look for the CE mark on any toys you are considering buying this Christmas.

Be careful about electrics

You don’t need to be Santa to know that electrical toys are often at the top of kids’ Christmas lists.

You need to be particularly careful when buying these kinds of toys – take note of the age warnings, check that the safety instructions are clear and that the item is properly insulated and protected from the risk of live parts.

And remember, no electrical toy that is more than 24 volts may be sold or given as a free gift in Ireland.

Check the toy before you buy

Make sure you know what to watch out for when you are buying toys.

For example, always watch out for things like detachable small parts (which could be a choking hazard), rough edges, and dangerous or fold-away parts that might catch children’s fingers.

You should also be sure that the toys you buy are appropriate for the age of the child you are buying for.

Remember, if a toy says it’s suitable for children aged 3 and up, this is not just a recommendation, it’s a safety warning.

Also keep in mind that if there are younger children in the house, they could be in danger if they play with the toy.

Make a list and check it twice!

You might find it handy to have a checklist of the most important things to watch out for, and bring it with you when you go shopping – the NCA’s guide to toy safety has a really comprehensive one that you could use.

For more information, including the online guide to toy safety, check out the Top tips for toy safety section on the NCA’s website.

The NCA also has loads of other useful information to help you out this festive season, including information on gift vouchers and consumer law and shopping.

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