The British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) called for greater attention when buying toys online. Their report shows that many online toys are unsafe.
The BTHA conducted a survey in which it found that 58% of the toys it bought and tested via online marketplaces were unsafe. They didn’t comply with the UK toy safety regulations ie – illegal.
While non-compliant with regulations is bad, for 22% of the toys it’s worse and they were labeled as “unsafe”.
The BHTA bought 100 toys from Amazon and 28 were illegal, 18 were unsafe, 2 were possible counterfeits. It also bought 50 toys from eBay. The numbers were 11 illegal, 12 unsafe and 3 possible counterfeits. Finally, the BTHA bought 50 toys from AliExpress where 31 were illegal, 15 were unsafe and 8 were possible counterfeits.
“The BTHA has been testing toys on online marketplaces and finding concerning levels of illegal and unsafe toys. We have been sharing the results with the platforms and regulators to call for change. We are concerned that unsafe and illegal products are not removed fast enough and identical products remain on sale. There are gaps in the UK regulations which allow the sellers and the marketplaces to not be held to account and for unsafe toys to continue to be available to UK consumers. We call on government to close that gap before a child is seriously injured or killed by an unsafe toy”, Natasha Crookes, director of communications for the BTHA, said.
The BTHA members call on government departments to take action and tackle the issue. They want regulators to actively identify unsafe products and remove them from the online platforms. This is going to be difficult as many of the online marketplaces are outside UK, therefore outside its jurisdiction. This slows the process down and basically means that parents have to be more vigilant and careful about the toys they buy online.