Warning issued after ‘non-compliant’ Christmas toys seized by North Northamptonshire Council's Trading Standards Officers

22 December 2023

North Northamptonshire Council’s Trading Standards team are urging parents and carers to make sure toys bought for Christmas meet safety standards, following the discovery of a 'non-compliant' haul this week. 

Officers from the Council’s Trading Standards Service seized a large quantity of 'non-compliant' toys from a seller in Kettering on Wednesday 20 December, just five days before Christmas. The toys were not labelled in accordance with the requirements of the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011, and it is suspected that some may even be unsafe for small children. 

They want to remind residents  to be vigilant when buying toys and urge everybody buying toys to check the labels.  There are a number of labelling requirements which should be adhered to, including the name and address of the manufacturer / importer, the type, batch, model or serial number, the UKCA / CE mark, and warnings and instructions.  

The team at the council has issued the following advice to parents and carers who are buying toys or residents supervising over the festive period: 

Always read the warnings and instructions. Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which are based on risks such as choking hazards.  

  • Always follow the age recommendations
  • Avoid toys with small parts. They can be a choking hazard.  
  • Look out for strangulation hazards. Loose ribbons on toys and costumes can pose risks to young children.  
  • Check the toys are for kids. Magnets can look like toys. Keep them away from children.  
  • Compare the sellers. Bargains may be too good to be true. Compare the toy’s price with other sellers. If it’s a fraction of the cost, it’s likely to be counterfeit.  
  • Check for button batteries. Ensure that any button batteries in a toy are safely behind a screwed down flap.  
  • Check for product recalls. See if the toy you’re buying has been recalled at the product recall pages of the Gov.UK website.
  • Check before you wrap. Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which are based on risks such as choking hazards.  
For many Christmas is a time to celebrate and share gifts, but unfortunately there are still risks out there. I know our Trading Standards team will continue to work hard tackling the sale of dangerous and illicit products, but there are still steps we can all take to ensure the gifts we buy are safe. Please take them.Cllr David Brackenbury, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Growth and Regeneration
I would like to thank the Trading Standards team for their continued efforts in putting the safety of the people of North Northamptonshire first in everything they do.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council

There are also risks when buying from online platforms, you often can’t see the label online so you should take extra care. Remember that not everything advertised on a platform will be sold by that platform, some items will be sold by overseas sellers and won’t meet our strict safety laws. 

If you feel you have purchased a non-compliant or unsafe toy you can report it to Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.