26 September 2023

Christmas crush destroys unsafe toys

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Consumer Affairs Victoria has seized hundreds of unsafe children’s toys from shop shelves in the lead up to Christmas and is urging parents and carers to buy carefully this holiday season.

Joining the call for caution, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne said Consumer Affairs had seized 368 unsafe toys that failed to meet safety standards and posed a potential risk to children due to small parts which were considered choking hazards.

Ms Horne said some of the toys being crushed and destroyed included a number of dolls with small and unsecured battery compartments as well as items that failed to meet labelling standards.

“We want all Victorians to have a safe and happy Christmas, and Consumer Affairs inspectors have been out in force removing unsafe toys from shelves to ensure that happens,” she said.

“The onus is on businesses to make sure they stock toys that meet mandatory safety standards, but I encourage everyone buying toys this Christmas to read warning labels and follow the safety instructions carefully.

“Parents and carers can minimise the risk of buying unsafe products for their children by keeping toys designed for older children away from little ones and avoiding toys with removeable parts, sharp edges, points, or splinters.”

Ms Horne also recommended that parents and carers ensured toys were suitable for their child’s age and chose sturdy, well-made toys that could stand up to being bitten and tugged without falling apart.

The Minister said Consumer Affairs Victoria had powers to prosecute businesses that sold unsafe items, with penalties of up to $10 million for traders who failed to meet their legal responsibilities.

“Businesses are also encouraged to familiarise themselves with Victoria’s strict product safety laws, to ensure they are doing everything they can to keep their consumers safe,” Ms Horne said.

Further information on toy safety can be accessed on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Product Safety Australia website at this PS News link.

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