Rogue traders cash in on latest trend with fake toys
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Parents should not be tempted into buying dangerous counterfeit versions of the most sought-after toy for their children this Christmas, Suffolk Trading Standards has warned.
The organisation said parents who feel pressured into purchasing the year's must-have toy due to stretched budgets or unavailability may turn to fake models online.
This is where rogue traders take advantage and cash in on the latest craze, trading standards said.
"Fake and copy-cat toys are not only a challenge for the reputable toy sector but can endanger children’s safety," a spokesman for Suffolk Trading Standards said.
"Toys are subject to stringent regulations in order to ensure they are safe for children.
"Tests on toys seized by trading standards in the past have revealed harmful levels of toxic chemicals, choking and strangulation hazard.
"Electrical products seized have been found to pose a risk of fire or serious electric shock."
Trading standards advised parents to be cautious and follow this advice:
- Always read the warnings and instructions - Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which are based on risks such as choking hazards. Always follow the age recommendations
- Consider special needs - Children with special needs might be more vulnerable, so keep this in mind when shopping
- Avoid toys with small parts - They can be a choking hazard
- Look out for strangulation hazards - Loose ribbons on toys and costumes can pose risks to young children.
- Check the toys are for kids - Magnets can look like toys. Keep them away from children
- Compare the sellers - Bargains may be too good to be true. Compare the toy’s price with other sellers. If it’s a fraction of the cost, it’s likely to be counterfeit
- Check for button batteries - Ensure that any button batteries in a toy are safely behind a screwed down flap
- Check for product recalls - See if the toy you’re buying has been recalled here
- Check before you wrap - Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which are based on risks such as choking hazards. Always follow the age recommendations
Anyone who comes across a toy that is believed to be dangerous or counterfeit can report it to Suffolk Trading Standards via 0808 223 1133.