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People asked to check toys are safe for children

Thursday, 16 December 2021

People are being reminded to check toys are safe for children by looking at the safety standard symbols.

The Office of Fair Trading is asking the public to be vigilant when wrapping Christmas presents and pay attention to any warnings or symbols following news of dangerous advent calendars being sold in Scotland.

The fidget spinner advent calendars were found to contain unsafe levels of chemicals in the plastics which may be harmful to children. 

Consumers are also asked to pay close attention to any age limits and to check they are suitable.

Symbols Left to Right: The CE mark, BSI Kitemark, Lion Mark and Age suitability.

These familiar symbols indicate that products meet applicable EU or UK legislation or standards, whether the manufacturer is a member of the British Toy and Hobby Association (Lion Mark) and the age suitability of toys due to hazards such as small parts.

Consumers can be reassured that items with these symbols follow safety guidelines, and that the materials and manufacturing processes used are of the highest standard.

Care should be taken to avoid counterfeit toys, as these are frequently made without adhering to those strict safety standards.

Callum Hussey, Assistant Trading Standards Officer, said:

Two young girls hugging teddy bears and surrounded by Christmas gifts'We understand that Christmas can be a difficult time financially for families, however it’s important to ensure that if we’re buying cheaper versions of well-known products that they also have the same safety guarantees – and do not contain any harmful materials or dangerous parts.

'We want everybody to have a good Christmas, so taking care and checking for these symbols should give people confidence and prevent nasty surprises.

'There are clues that may help in identifying counterfeit items - the instructions that come with these toys are often poorly written and make no sense, sometimes the contents do not match the detail given on the packaging, and if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.'

Any traders who have sold the affected advent calendar, or consumers who have concerns about any products should contact the Office of Fair Trading on +44 1624 686500 or email

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