CHRISTMAS is almost on us and if the shops are anything to go by, gift shopping is in full swing.
Many of our readers will be buying for grandchildren – some of you maybe for the first time (congratulations); or for other small children and will know what an array of gifts are out there on the shelves.
However, buying gifts for little ones can be fraught with danger – many toys have small parts which can become a choking hazard and the dangers of button batteries which can be fatal if swallowed, are well known.
The Office of Fair Trading in Queensland has revealed the results of its proactive Christmas toy safety campaign Operation Safe Christmas 2018 which inspected 4,968 toy lines statewide ordering the removal from shelves of six for safety reasons.
“This included two toy machine guns which both shot projectiles with too much force and had protective suction caps that detached, creating a potential choking hazard,” said Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath.
“The third toy was a fabric giraffe that could release small parts, also creating a potential choking hazard for children under three years old.
“The OFT also seized three toys that did not have the correct safety labelling to inform parents and carers about the safe use of the products.
If buying a gift for a small child, check for any loose parts. Anything smaller than a 20 cent piece poses a choking risk.
“These toys – a bow and arrow set and two types of foam mat – may be returned to sale if the OFT is satisfied the suppliers have rectified the products so the labelling requirements of the safety standards are met.”
Mrs D’Ath said it was important for everyone to do safety checks when buying toys for children.
“The rule of thumb should always be ‘the smaller the child, the bigger the toy’. Toys that are labelled as unsuitable for children under three may contain small parts that could be a choking hazard,” she said.
“If buying a gift for a small child, check for any loose parts. Anything smaller than a 20 cent piece poses a choking risk.
“People thinking about buying projectile toys should consider projectiles or improvised projectiles with sharp points or edges, as they can cause blindness and other serious eye injuries if they hit someone,” said Ms D’Ath.
“As always, it’s very important to check toys containing button batteries have a battery compartment that is child resistant and secure.”
Product Safety Australia has a handy printable Choke Check tool on its website to help you assess the toys you buy or receive as presents.