Australian parents on the lookout for either cheap or cute toys to give to their little ones have been forewarned to take precautionary measures as the Office of Fair Trading in Queensland seized thousands of toys it deemed dangerous to give.
Some of the toys included a bath toy duck, a gleam ball, a fish peg puzzle, a crocodile rider pool toy, and an eva foam mat, among others.
"They do look innocent . . . but when they're subject to the use and abuse test you will find that they do start falling apart quite quickly," Dave Strachan, Fair Trading manager, said, noting just because they look harmless meant they really are.
"Look for good, standard toys that you know and know well . . . and don't be tempted by cheap toys," Jarrod Bleijie, attorney-general, told reporters in Brisbane on Thursday.
Fair Trading conducted a test on 2,000 products involving 424 retailers and five importers as part of this year's Operation Safe Christmas 2012. Fifty-six types of toys were eventually forbidden. Those prohibited for sale were toys that contained parts deemed to be choking hazards or fast-moving projectiles.
"More toys are sold in the three months before Christmas than the rest of the year combined," Mr Bleijie said.
"Unfortunately this tempts non-specialist traders that don't understand safety standards to increase profits by stocking cheap toys during the festive season.
In Victoria, more than 11,000 dangerous children's toys were likewise crushed to pieces.
"Under Victorian law there are very strict safety standards to ensure that dangerous toys do not make it to the shelves and are kept away from kids," said Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O'Brien.
"Toys that risk our children's health and wellbeing must be permanently removed from the market place.
"Some traders still have not got the message that the sale of any unsafe products will not be tolerated."
Mr Bleijie urged all parents to take care toy shopping. "When in doubt, to stick to specialty retailers that generally have comprehensive programs to ensure their products meet safety standards," he said.
Click this for the list of toys banned by the Queensland government - http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/toys-removed-from-sale-2012.htm
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