Christmas shoppers warned to avoid unsafe toys

Trading standards officers seize dangerous goods

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Unsafe goodsTrading standards officers have warned Christmas shoppers to avoid a range of dangerous toys, decorations and gifts which they have seized in previous years, but may still be on some shops' shelves this Christmas.

Ann Hodges, head of trading standards at Ealing Council said, "We want to send out a warning to shoppers, particularly to parents and children to keep a eye out for these sort of items. Everything displayed here was seized from stores or street markets around the borough over the last few years. They all have a specific fault with them which makes them unsafe to use.

"While the vast majority of goods on sale are safe, unfortunately there are often some which aren't and can be dangerous. The Christmas lights shown here are not insulated properly and could cause a fire if they were plugged in.  What we're saying to shoppers is to double check the labeling, make sure its got the CE mark and manufacturers address and that it’s safe to be used.”

The products on show are:  

  • A stuffed white kitten cuddly toy which has hair that is easily pulled out in tufts and could be swallowed;
  • Stuffed pony and puppy cuddly toys which don't have secure battery compartments and do have exposed wiring;
  • Christmas lights which have thinly lined insulation cords and if plugged in could cause a fire.

Ann Hodges added, “Although these goods have been seized by us in the past, unfortunately it doesn’t mean that they will definitely not still be on sale, so be vigilant when Christmas shopping. 

“Anyone who has bought a gift and finds that it is unsafe or doesn't have the proper labeling should return it to the store that they purchased it from and contact Trading Standards at Ealing Council on 020 8825 6888.”  

December 12th, 2004