Trading Standards warning over dangerous Christmas toys


Release date: 03 December 2021

A safety warning has been issued by West Sussex Trading Standards after dangerous toys were found to be on sale in the run-up to Christmas.

The warning comes after Trading Standards Officers uncovered sales of toddler teething rings with removable parts that could be swallowed and other toys which failed to meet the correct safety standards.

Other items included a plastic toy snake, set of coloured balls and a baby gym, all with small parts that posed a choking hazard.

Three of the products were from UK online sellers and the other two came direct from high street shops near Chichester.

Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager said: "It's completely unacceptable that unsafe and dangerous toys are available on the UK market, putting children at serious risk of injury.

"Don’t toy with children’s safety this Christmas. Only buy gifts from well-known, reputable sellers.

“In particular, I advise people to exercise caution when shopping online - always do your research as some third-party sellers are often not held accountable for the safety of their products."

Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire & Rescue said: "The consequences of buying one of these toys as a gift for a young child this Christmas could be very serious indeed.

“I would strongly urge all people in West Sussex to only buy from well-known, reputable sellers and to do their homework to check they’re legitimate.

“People should look for warning signs. If the price of a Christmas present seems too good to be true – it probably is.”

Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice, should contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 08082231133 or online via

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is partnering with Chartered Trading Standards Institute, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Child Accident Prevention Trust and Netmums to raise awareness of how to buy safe toys:

Know who you are buying from
Wherever you are shopping, remember reputation matters. Is the seller widely recognised for safe and reliable toys? Get as much information on the seller as you can, especially if you’re buying from an online marketplace. Not everything sold on an online platform is supplied by them. If the actual supplier is not based in the UK, you may face heightened risks.

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 at

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.

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