5 things to remember when shopping for toys this Christmas

By Lovin' Media

November 17, 2021 at 11:52am

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With Christmas just a few short months away, it won't be long before you're picking out toys for the kids in your life.

Whether you're hitting the high-street or shopping online, it's always important to be vigilant when shopping for kids.

The last thing anyone wants is to gift a child with an unsafe or unsuitable toy, but it can be hard to spot which toys might pose a danger to the little ones in your life.

When it comes to toy safety, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) have loads of really handy advice on their site to help you sail through the shopping process. From making sure toys meet regulatory standards to researching online sellers, you can find loads of helpful info HERE.

With that in mind, here are some helpful tips for buying toys this Christmas, and some of the key warning signs you need to look out for...

1. All toys should have the CE mark

No matter where you buy them from, all toys should carry the CE mark. The CE mark is a manufacturer's declaration that the toy meets all EU safety regulations and standards. The mark can usually be found on the toy itself, in the instruction manual or on the packaging. Sometimes, the CE mark can be faked so be sure to check the toy thoroughly.

If a toy doesn't have this mark, it may not be safe for children, so inspect any toys you buy this Christmas before giving them to a child.

2. You should only buy toys from retailers you trust

If you don't buy from a reputable business, you could be more likely to encounter unsafe, non-compliant toys, and you may not be able to return the item if there's an issue.

Research the business you're buying from carefully before you buy, including where the business is based so you know what your rights are. It can be tricky to know if online sellers are trust-worthy, so take time to check reviews and social media pages for these sellers before buying.

3. Check the age range and look for small, detachable parts

One of the biggest dangers non-compliant toys pose to children is small, detachable parts that can be a choking hazard for children.

Always follow the recommended age range of a toy, as toys for older children may have small parts that would be dangerous for a child aged 0-3 years. Before giving a toy to a young child, inspect it for detachable parts smaller than a €2 coin, to make sure it's safe for them to play with.

4. You have consumer rights

With any toys you buy this Christmas, you have consumer rights if you run into a problem.

If the toy is faulty or not as described, you have a right to a refund, exchange or repair of the item. When buying toys online, you have up to 14 days to return the item if you change your mind. Always hold on to any receipts or proof of purchase for any toys you buy, in case you have issues further down the line.

5. If you suspect a toy is non-compliant, don't buy it

If you suspect a toy isn't safe for children, don't buy it. Last November the CCPC destroyed 51,000 unsafe toys that didn't comply with Irish or EU standards, ranging from soft toys and teddy bears to toy guns and battery operated toys. 

If you want to report unsafe products, or toys suspected of carrying a fake CE mark, you can contact the CCPC.

The CCPC has a full list of toy safety tips, so visit ccpc.ie/toys for more information.

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