ITV News has seen new evidence of dangerous toys being imported into the UK ahead of Christmas.
Trading Standards officers at Britain’s biggest port are warning of a rise in the import of unsafe products for the festive season.
Now, there are calls for legal changes that could make next Christmas safer.
We were given access to see the Trading Standards operation to stop unsafe Christmas toys from entering the UK.
At Britain’s biggest port, Felixstowe, we saw toys that could burn, choke, injure or poison children.
Sadly, despite the dedication of these officers, too many unsafe products still slip through.
We spoke to one father who bought an electric bike as a Christmas gift for his 10-year-old son, which “exploded like a rocket”.
The government is consulting on new product safety rules and many campaigners want online market places such as Ebay, Amazon, and TikTok Shop to take on more legal responsibility for safety checks.
Dangerous gifts can also find their way into many other retail outlets, so it is vital that shoppers know what to look out for.
We spoke to leading safety experts to get their Christmas gift safety tips:
- “Use reputable retailers,” said charity Electrical Safety First.
- If you’re buying from other outlets, including online marketplaces, check for tell-tale signs of poor safety – which can include spelling mistakes on packaging or instructions.
- Look out for foreign plugs, which can also indicate that insufficient checks have been made.
- “Check for safety symbols,” Trading Standards officers said, adding that if shoppers see the CE mark is missing, alarm bells should ring.
- “Beware of counterfeits,” said ROSPA, the accident-prevention charity.
- They are also warning of Christmas alcohol, food and cosmetics that mimic mainstream brands.
- Government research shows that 27% of consumers knowingly buy fakes – with little data on how many do so without knowing.
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