DANGEROUS TOYS CRUSHED BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The Andrews Labor Government is urging parents and carers of young children to shop carefully this Christmas and ensure their presents are age appropriate and safe.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne today joined inspectors from Consumer Affairs Victoria to destroy a range of toys that failed to meet safety standards and posed a potential risk to children.

Inspectors from Consumer Affairs Victoria seized 368 unsafe toys from shelves in the lead up to Christmas due to small parts that pose a choking hazard to children.

Toys being crushed and destroyed included a number of dolls with small and unsecured battery compartments, and items that failed labelling standards.

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Consumer Affairs Victoria has powers to prosecute businesses who sell unsafe items, with penalties of up to $10 million for traders who fail to meet their legal responsibilities.

In June 2020, In Touch Fashions & Gifts Pty Ltd trading as retail business ‘In Touch Imports’ and its director agreed pay a significant penalty, after acknowledging they had offered items for sale that did not meet mandatory information standards.

In February 2019, court action by Consumer Affairs Victoria forced a company and its director to pay $415,000 in penalties, plus $15,000 in costs, for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law’s product safety provisions.

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It is recommended that parents and carers follow some simple advice when buying toys this Christmas:

  • Look for toys suitable for your child’s age
  • Avoid toys with sharp edges, points or splinters
  • Choose sturdy and well-made toys that can stand up to being bitten and tugged without falling

Businesses are also encouraged to familiarise themselves with Victoria’s strict product safety laws, to ensure they are doing everything they can to keep their consumers safe.

To report a potentially unsafe product, use the complaint form on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website at consumer.vic.gov.au/generalcomplaint or call 1300 55 81 81.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne 

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“We want all Victorians to have a safe and happy Christmas, and Consumer Affairs inspectors have been out in force removing unsafe toys from shelves to ensure that happens.” 

“The onus is on businesses to make sure they stock toys that meet mandatory safety standards, but I encourage everyone buying toys this Christmas to read warning labels and follow the safety instructions carefully.” 

“Parents and carers can minimise the risk of buying unsafe products for their children by keeping toys designed for older children away from little ones and avoiding toys with removeable parts, sharp edges, points, or splinters.”