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Operation Safe Christmas checks for safe toys

Operation Safe Christmas unsafe toys
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been inspecting toys to find out which ones are naughty or nice as part of their annual Operation Safe Christmas to identify unsafe toys for sale.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been inspecting toys to find out which ones are naughty or nice as part of its annual Operation Safe Christmas to identify unsafe toys for sale.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said the OFT identified 17 unsafe toys during this year’s operation.

“Christmas is on our doorstep, and we want shoppers to be on the lookout for unsafe toys when buying gifts,” the Attorney said.

“This year, the OFT inspectors looked at more than 6700 toy lines across 150 retailers and removed a number of toys, including plush toys, a puzzle and puzzle mat, aquatic toys, portable pools and a yo-yo water ball.”

Toys removed from shelves during Operation Safe Christmas include:

  • Four plush toys containing a zipper which, when opened, exposes the inner stuffing considered to be a choking hazard.
  • One plush toy bear whose eyes became detached during testing and are considered a choking hazard. 
  • Mathematical jigsaw puzzle which included a puzzle piece considered a choking hazard.
  • EVA foam puzzle mat which did not include the correct warning labelling.
  • Seven aquatic toys which did not include the correct warning labelling.
  • Two portable pools which did not include the correct warning labelling.
  • Monster yo-yo water ball which is a banned product and poses a strangulation hazard.

Ms Fentiman said the rise of online shopping means more people were buying presents from overseas sellers.

“It’s important for Queenslanders to know that not all items purchased from overseas are safe or have met Australian safety standards,” she said.

“This can be of particular concern when it comes to products that contain button batteries, contain small parts and high-powered magnets.”

She said an easy way to remember how to stay safe this Christmas was to keep in mind the six Ss of toy safety:

  • Size – the smaller the child, the bigger the toy should be. Parts smaller than a ping pong ball could choke a child under three years.
  • Shape – be wary of products that could be easily swallowed and have sharp points or edges.
  • Surface – small children will place objects in their mouths so make sure that all materials and finishes are non-toxic.
  • Strings – any strings over 30cm long may pose a strangulation hazard for a small child and should be removed.
  • Supervision – there is no substitute for close supervision by parents and carers.
  • Secure battery compartments – make sure that battery covers are secure and small children cannot access them.

For information on safety standards and product bans click here.

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