To ensure your family has the best Christmas possible, parents must take precautions, especially when it comes to new toys. The National Consumer Agency (NCA) has issues toy safety tips for consumers who are buying toys in the run up to Christmas. These tips highlight the possible dangers to children if they are given unsafe or unsuitable toys. The NCA also has a toy safety guide with additional safety advice and tips on
Safe tips
  • Respect the age suitability warnings labelled on the toy (for example, 'Not suitable for children under three years old'). This is a warning, not a guideline.
  • Teach older children to keep toys that may have detachable small parts or sharp points out of reach of younger siblings. Young children are very curious and may use toys that aren't appropriate for them.
  • All toys with magnets should have a warning displayed at the point of sale, on the packaging or attached to the toy. Magnets sticking together or becoming attached to a metal object inside the human body can cause serious or fatal injury.
  • If you feel there is any potential danger to the safety of your child, don’t buy the toy.
  • If the toy uses batteries, make sure the child cannot open the part of the toy where the batteries are stored.
  • Avoid rough edges, dangerous or foldaway parts or small holes that could trap little fingers.
  • Toys carrying the CE mark offer an assurance to consumers that the toy is made of materials that do not burn easily.
Electrics and batteries
  • Always take care when buying toys with electrical parts and read the safety instructions carefully.
  • Never mix old and new or different strength batteries in the toy as this can make the old or weaker batteries very hot. Batteries in toys must be enclosed in a sealed area that a young child cannot open.
  • Parents are reminded to keep any instructions that come with toys and make sure that children do not play with plastic packaging, as there could be risk of suffocation.
  • Consumers that come across a toy that seems unsafe or doesn't have a CE Mark should contact the retailer they bought it from and also make a report to the NCA by phoning the consumer helpline, 1890 432 432, or by emailing