How to know whether the toy you buy at Christmas is safe for your little ones?
We’re all in the midst of pre-Christmas panic buying presents for our loved ones.
However, in the heat of the moment, it can be easy to overlook the safety aspects of what you’re buying for your little ones. Luckily, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is here to help and has some very clear and simple tips around safety when buying children’s toys at Christmas.
Buy from a reputable business
When shopping for children at Christmas, or any other time of the year, make sure you buy from a reputable trader. There are more pop-up shops and more street traders around Christmas, but toys that are in breach of safety standards are more likely to be purchased from these seasonal sellers, rather than an established shop. Besides, if something goes wrong with your gift, you want to be able to bring it back and you’re more likely to be able to do that with an established trader.
Check the toy has a CE mark
The first thing you have to be on the lookout for when buying a toy or gift for a child is that it must clearly bear the CE mark on it. The CE mark is the abbreviation of the French "Conformité Européene" and it means that the toy or product has passed the very stringent product safety standards that exist in the EU to protect consumers.
The CE mark is very distinctive and you might find some manufacturers might forge the symbol on their packaging to give the impression they’ve met safety standards when, in fact, they haven’t. Have a look on CCPC.ie to see what the real CE mark looks like here.
Other tell-tale signs to look out for
The second thing to be on the lookout for is that the age of suitability should be consistent on all packaging and instructions. If it says “suitable for 3+” on one part of the packaging yet it says “4+” elsewhere, that might be a sign that the manufacturer is only trying to give the impression that a product has passed safety standards when in fact it hasn’t.
Other things to look out for are that the name and the address of the manufacturer should be clearly visible on all toys or the packaging, warnings need to be clear, written in English and easy to read and understand and all safety instructions that come with the toy should be written clearly and in English.
If the product does not display these things, or they don’t look right to you, then you should really think twice about buying it.
If you do find an unsafe toy, let the CCPC know. You can contact the CCPC’s Consumer Helpline on on 1890 432 432 or fill out the contact form with the relevant information. Christmas is a wonderful time, especially for children, so we all want to make this time as happy, as joyful and as safe as can be. Happy shopping!
Find out what you need to know about toy and product safety at CCPC here.