Santa’s top safety tips

Woman choosing Christmas toys

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Netmums, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust – and Santa – are helping the Office for Product Safety and Standards warn against second rate toys.

No one wants to take a risk with toy safety, so always bear in mind 12 tips when buying for children.

  1. Look for the CE symbol: This means the manufacturer has assessed the toy for safety. Find the symbol on the label or box.

  2. Check it’s for kids: Festive novelties can look like toys. Keep them away from kids.

  3. Reputation matters: Check the suppliers who have a good reputation for safe and reliable toys. They’ll have good safety standards and refund policies.

  4. Button battery safety: Christmas toys may have button batteries – which can prove lethal if ingested. Check they are screwed in safely before giving to a child.

  5. Check age restrictions: Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which assess risks such as choking hazards. Always follow the age recommendations.

  6. Consider special needs: Remember that children with special needs might be more vulnerable, and make sure to shop accordingly.

  7. Choking hazards: Avoid toys with small parts or loose fabric – they can be a choking hazard.

  8. Loose parts: Loose ribbons on toys and costumes can be dangerous. Think before you buy.

  9. Inspect toy boxes: Wear and tear can make a toy unsafe. Check your children’s toys and get them repaired if necessary.

  10. Supervise when you need to: Some toys need an adult on hand during playtime. Read all the instructions so you can keep things under control.

  11. Tidy up: Boxes, plastic bags and wire can be a hazard. Clear away all packaging once everything’s unwrapped.

  12. Celebrate a safe Christmas: Completing these checks can save you a lot of stress later. Remember to get batteries (and dispose of these safely too)!

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