´╗┐Toy safety tips from Customs to parents (with photos)

17 Dec 2010

Parents should be aware of the potential hazards of festive toys and take heed of the warnings and the usage instructions on the toys, a spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department warned today (December 17).

With the approach of Christmas, the Customs and Excise Department has conducted spot checks on toys retailers. Officers sent some 20 different types of toys for safety tests by the Government Laboratory. The samples included torch projector toys, toy guns, drawing boards, Christmas stuffed toys, toy cars, robot toys, stamp toys, bouncing balls, balloons, mini basketball game toys, fishing game toys, wooden craft construction kits and yo-yo toys.

Test results showed that six toys failed to meet the safety requirements of the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance (TCPSO). The six unsafe toys included a car toy with a movable segment; a robot toy with accessible driving parts; a fishing game toy with sharp points that could injure children; a torch projector toy without a suitable label on age recommendations; and another gun toy, a yo-yo toy, the torch projector toy and the fishing game toy had no battery markings or battery usage safety warnings.

A drawing board also failed to comply with the identification marking requirement of the Toys and Children's Products Safety Regulation (TCPSR) made under the TCPSO, for not bearing the name and address of the local manufacturer, importer, or supplier, on the packaging.

The Department will prosecute or serve written warnings to relevant suppliers supplying unsafe toys according to the ordinance.

To maintain toy safety in the market, the department conducts surprise checks on retailers and draws samples for safety tests.

From January to November, Customs conducted 1,100 spot checks on the safety of toys. In these spot checks, 30 items, including chess toys, doll toys, whipping top toys, plane toys, battery-operated lanterns, headband toys, light sticks, lion dancing toys, gun toys, magnetic toys, phone toys, projectile toys, car toys, clock toys, trumpet toys, water gun toys and water growing creatures failed to comply with the requirements under TCPSO and TCPSR.

Some of these items failed to comply with the safety requirements concerning structure, such as small parts, heavy metal, movable segments inducing accessible gaps and package film. Some of them also failed to comply with the requirements of identification marking under the TCPSR.

In the period, nine toy suppliers were prosecuted and 82 toy suppliers were served with written warnings for supplying toys which failed to comply with the requirements under TCPSO and TCPSR.

Parents should heed these toy safety tips:

To report unsafe toys and children's products, consumers can call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or write to the Consumer Protection Bureau, Customs and Excise Department at 14/F, Customs Headquarters Building, 222 Java Road, North Point.

Ends/Friday, December 17, 2010

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