Urgent warning over potentially lethal toys
An urgent warning has been issued over potentially lethal soft toys available online after a Moray toddler was found with electrical wiring from a teddy bear wrapped round her neck.
Local trading standards officers say the two teddies which the child’s parents had bought from an online marketplace are among the worst examples of unsafe toys that they have come across.
They have appealed to other parents to be extremely careful when buying toys on the internet and to ensure that any toys they buy are safe and from a reputable source.
The toddler was given the two light-up teddies to play with in her cot but her mother was shocked to find that her daughter had opened the zip on the back of one of the toys and exposed a length of electrical cord which had become wrapped around her neck.
The girl had also managed to remove a significant quantity of loose stuffing from inside the bear which, had she placed it in her mouth, could have resulted in her choking.
An inspection of the toys by trading standards officers found the electrical wiring and attached lights were easily accessible and were a strangulation hazard.
Similarly, no protection was in place to prevent the choking hazard and the toys also contained numerous other small parts which could also potentially have caused a child to choke.
The teddy bears also lacked any labelling, including the required CE mark.
Moray Council’s trading standards manager, Peter Adamson, said his staff had been shocked at how potentially dangerous the toys were.
“Protecting children from dangerous toys is one of our highest priorities and it was shocking when these teddy bears were brought to our notice,” he said.
“It would appear that because the toys were bought direct online, they had evaded all of the normal checks that would normally take place when goods are imported into the EU and the UK.
“Fortunately, in this instance no harm came to the child but we need to warn potential purchasers of the risks they take when buying toys for young children from suppliers who cut corners.”
Mr Adamson added: “Our officers are continuing their inquiries to try and determine where these toys came from.”
The advice from trading standards is to:
- Establish the identity of who you are dealing with. Are they within the EU or UK and therefore covered by product safety legislation?
- Do not be fooled by websites that are made to look like they are based in Britain by using .co.uk names
- Can you find warnings or positive reviews about the website online?
- Look for a permanent label on the toy which has the CE mark along with the address in the EU of the manufacturer or importer
- Even if you have followed all of the above advice, take a few minutes as a parent or guardian to carry out a physical inspection of the toy itself. Is it well made or are there obvious hazards or dangers?
Anyone who feels they have been affected by this issue or needs advice should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.