Council Seizes Dangerous Toys

Toy mobile phones are a health hazard

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Toys have been in the headlines over the past few weeks as two products manufactured in China and sold by Mattel were recalled after it was found that they constituted a serious danger.

Now Trading Standards officers at Ealing Council are asking parents to destroy locally bought cheap toy mobile phones which could seriously harm children.

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of potentially lethal children's toys have been seized by Ealing Council's Trading Standards team. Officers swooped on around 20 shops and market stalls across the borough and confiscated the
dangerous toy mobile phones.

These toys (pictured right) pose a number of serious risks such as choking, poisoning, burns and rashes.

The small batteries are easily accessible and children will put them in their mouths. It creates a choking hazard but if swallowed could lead to internal chemical burns. The ring tones on a sample of those seized also have the potential to damage the child's hearing.

We spoke to Doug Love, Head of the Trading Standards Team. He told us: "Of course there's no problem with cheap toys - so long as they are safe for children to use. However, we are keen to clear the marketplace of these products and issue a clear warning to anyone who may have bought them or to parents of children who may have been given these toys.

"The toys should be destroyed immediately. It's not worth taking them back to the shop as they are so cheap. The traders who sold them would probably not have known that they are dangerous. We are working with these traders to try to get to the source of the problem, i.e the importers."

Sue Emment, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, said: "This is a lot of cheap £1 tat that could ultimately cost a child's life. The importers are clearly more interested in profit than children's safety."

The toys are being securely stored and will be used as evidence in any court action. Officers are continuing their investigations to trace the importers of these toys.

Cllr Emment added: "Parents must be warned about these toys and should contact us with any information that may help our ongoing investigations. Making communities safer is one of our three priorities and we will continue to carry out checks among businesses in Ealing to ensure only legitimate and safe products are on sale."

If you have information on the sales of these dangerous toys please contact Ealing Council's trading standards team on (020) 8825 6086.

September 6, 2007