Christmas toys safety warning

EAST Dunbartonshire Trading Standards team is warning parents to be vigilant when they buy gifts for their children this Christmas.

They are reminding parents to make sure that the toys they purchase are safe.

Ashay Ghai, depute leader of the council and convener of the housing and community services committee, said: “This is sensible, practical advice which should help us all as we face particular challenges this Christmas.

“The temptation may be to buy toys at bargain prices but not at the expense of safety. Using these tips and checking labels for appropriate symbols will help to ensure a safe and happy Christmas when the wrapping paper is torn off.”

The Child Accident Prevention Trust and the British Toy and Hobby Association also gave the following advice -

Shop in good retailers that you’ve heard of and have a good reputation. Markets or new, temporary shops often sell illegally imported toys that don’t meet strict toy safety requirements. Counterfeit goods may have low prices but are illegal, are not made to proper safety standards and can be dangerous for little ones.

Make sure you look at the age range on the toy packaging as babies and toddlers can choke on small parts or swallow harmful parts of the toy. Toys that are not meant for young children are clearly marked.

Buy toys from a recognised retail outlet, in person or online.

If you’re buying your child a bike, skates or skateboard, also buy a helmet.

Check toys from friends and relatives to ensure that they are appropriate for the age of your child and be extra careful with toys for children under the age of three.

Check the toys for loose, small, sharp and jagged parts that may harm a child.

You should look for these symbols on toys - ‘The Lion Mark’, a symbol introduced by The British Toy and Hobby Association, is an easily recognisable icon to help you identify toys that have been classified as being safe for children to use.

This age warning means the toy is unsuitable for children 0-3 years old.

The CE Mark, together with the name and address of the supplier, is required by law to appear on all toys placed on the market in the European Union. The symbol is NOT a claim of quality or safety.