Parents should be aware of the potential hazards of festive toys and take heed of the bilingual choking hazard warnings and the battery usage instructions on the toys, a spokesman of the Customs and Excise Department warned today (December 21).
These toys include toy latex balloons, clay toy sets, bubble guns, sand painting toy sets, toy swords, soft toys, ball game sets, toy nursing play sets, toy train sets or toy cars, toy planes and other battery-operated toys.
Recently, the Department had conducted 52 spot checks on the safety of Christmas toys at toys suppliers. A variety of 19 samples of toys were sent to the Government Laboratory for safety tests.
Testing results showed that six samples were found to be safe. Ten of the remaining items failed to comply with the requirements of choking hazard warnings, markings to show correct battery polarity and voltage, identification markings under the Toys and Children's Products Safety Ordinance ("TCPSO") and Regulation.
It was also found that the colour of a toy whistle contained excessive lead content of 410-590 mg/kg, which exceeded the safety standard of 250 mg/kg. Besides, a pull-along toy telephone-car was found containing a string which was likely to form a slip knot, posing strangulation hazard to children below three years old. In addition, the crevices next to the wheels of a toy car was also found easily entrapping fingers of young children.
From December 2004 to November 2005, Customs conducted 1,063 spot checks on the safety of toys. In these spot checks, 25 items of toy, including toy rockets, toy clay sets, toy play sets, toy vehicles, soft toys, floatation toys, beach toy sets, bubble guns, battery-operated toy lanterns, light sticks, Halloween toys and marble chess were found failing to comply with the requirements under TCPSO.
Some of these items failed to comply with the safety requirements concerning structure, like sharp points, sharp edges, small objects, heavy metal, package film and crevices while the others failed to comply with requirements of choking hazard warnings, safe battery usage instructions, identification markings and bilingual safety warnings under TCPSO.
It was found that the colour of a sand painting toy set was with excessive lead content of 460-580 mg/kg, which exceeded the safety standard of 250mg/kg.
In the same period, a company and a person were prosecuted, and 174 toy suppliers were served with written warnings for supplying toys which had failed to comply with the requirements under TCPSO.
Below are some toy safety tips for parents:
The spokesman appealed to members of the public to call Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 to report suspected unsafe toys or children's products.
Ends/Wednesday, December 21, 2005