Operation Safe Christmas Toys

Now in its 15th year, the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) Operation Safe Christmas has wrapped up and 23 unsafe toys have been removed from retailers’ shelves in the lead up to the festive shopping period.

This year’s operation included Fair Trading officers inspecting more than 12,770 toy lines in 231 stores across the length and breadth of Queensland. A large number of toys confiscated failed to contain mandatory warning labels, with retailers required to fix this or destroy the toys.

Small businesses, discount stores and market stalls are reminded that it is their responsibility to sell safe products that meet applicable Australian safety standard.

Toys removed from shelves include:

  • 15 LED light up toys which did not contain mandatory button battery warning labels
  • two yo-yo water balls which are a banned product and pose a strangulation hazard
  • three projectile toys that did not contain mandatory projectile warnings or button battery warning labels
  • two children’s puzzles which included individual puzzle pieces considered choking hazards
  • one EVA foam puzzle mat which did not include mandatory warning labels.

It’s critical that businesses include mandatory safety information and emergency advice so consumers understand the risks associated with these products.

In Australia, one child a month is seriously injured after swallowing or inserting a button battery, with some of them sustaining lifelong injuries. 

Button batteries are used in everyday household items and children’s toys, so Queenslanders need to be careful when shopping online, at markets or buying from overseas traders.

Families shopping for toys for young children should think about the following before buying:

  • Does the toy look cheaply made? 
  • Does it have small parts such as wheels, foam, bells and lights that look like they’d easily break and become a choking hazard? 
  • Are there any sharp edges or points? 
  • Are there long strings over 30cm?
  • Are the batteries easily accessible?

If you answered yes to any of these, don’t buy it.

Any concerns about unsafe toys should be reported to the OFT at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

For information on safety standards and product bans, visit www.productsafety.gov.au or www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading

If you believe your child has swallowed a button battery, immediately call the 24 hour Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26. If this is not possible, go straight to the hospital emergency room.

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