Dangerous Toys and Recalls
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare when it comes to toy safety – there is your pride and joy contentedly playing with their latest favourite toy, when you see a news item saying that the very toy is one of a list of dangerous toys that has just been recalled for safety reasons! So, what should you do -once you’ve extrapolated the toy from your crying child and placated them with the promise of another toy, that is?
Dangerous Toys and The Law
In the UK and EU there is strict toy safety legislation in place designed to prevent any dangerous toys which might injure children from being allowed to stay on the market once the risk has been identified. This means that if a toy does slip through the safety net and get out into the shops with a defect that could make it hazardous, there is a system in place to notify anyone who has imported and sold the toy, called RAPEX. The information is given to the media and an alert is put out for parents to return the offending toy to the shops.
What Should I Do if My Child Is Playing With Dangerous Toys?
The first thing to do if you think that your child has one of the dangerous toys is to remove it straight away, to avoid any risk of harm. Most toy recalls are precautionary rather than as a result of an actual injury, so don’t panic, but do check the product recall websites such as:
...just to make sure that the toy you have is actually one of the dangerous toys. You can also check the manufacturer’s website for further details on any current toy recalls. Some manufacturers will publish advice about what to do next and have a helpline which you can call for more toy safety advice or information.
What Are My Consumer Rights with Dangerous Toys?
Whenever you buy goods, the trader you buy those goods from is under a legal obligation to supply you with goods of a satisfactory quality – and under that umbrella term is the safety factor. You are entitled to expect that anything you buy is safe, and so if it turns out not to be after all, the trader is in breach of their contract to you. This means that if you buy dangerous toys, you do have comeback against the retailer, just as you would if you had bought a kettle which had refused to boil water after the first month!
How this affects your consumer rights in the case of a toy recall depends on several factors. If you have to return dangerous toys within the first six months, they are considered to have been ‘inherently faulty’ and you should be able to claim a full refund from the seller. The only issue could be that you may not have a receipt or proof of purchase, and without this, you can’t insist that a specific shop compensates you.
In the case of most dangerous toys, however, the toy sellers are usually aware of a product recall and may agree to take the toy back anyway. If not, the manufacturer’s website will have specific details about your consumer rights, who to contact, and what to do. But the toy is faulty, and you are certainly entitled to your money back!