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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Toys under scrutiny of UOKiK and Trade Inspection Authority

< previous | next > 03.06.2020

Toys under scrutiny of UOKiK and Trade Inspection Authority
  • Last year, the Trade Inspection Authority controlled more than 2.6 thousand toys and disclosed a number of irregularities in 0.7 thousand of them.
  • Out of the 0.5 thousand toys undergoing UOKiK’s laboratory tests, one in three was found to have irregularities disqualifying them from the market.
  • Watch our latest video to see how we test our toys in the laboratory and what to look out for when buying a toy for your kid.

Last Monday was Children's Day - the day of the youngest consumers. Many of them are looking forward to this date impatiently, awaiting the attractions planned and presents given by their parents. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection wishes both little and big kids joyful moments and amazing adventures, and for parents we have produced a special video. Click and watch how we test toys in our laboratories.

“The safety of the youngest consumers is our top priority. We check toys all year round - these activities are carried out by Trade Inspection Authority's inspectors and employees of UOKiK laboratories. Every year, we assess the quality and safety of several thousand toys. We have produced a video where everyone can see how, in a few simple steps, they can assess by themselves if a toy is safe - e.g. whether small parts are not easily detached from it. Please report your concerns to the nearest Trade Inspection Authority or to UOKiK,”– says Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK.

Last year, the TIA's inspectors tested 2,636 toys, of which they questioned 703 (26.7%). Most irregularities concerned formal issues. For example, information about the toy manufacturer, warnings, instructions for use or the CE certification mark were missing. By placing this mark, the manufacturer confirms that the toy conforms to the requirements set out in EU legislation.

To ensure the safety of the youngest consumers, we also test toys in laboratories. For example, no parent can precisely establish the amount of phthalates added to soften the plastic in a plastic doll - but if there are too many phthalates, they can adversely affect their child's health. Therefore we conduct special tests to check if the toys do not contain various hazardous substances.

In 2019, laboratory staff tested 517 toys, of which 181 were found to be non-compliant (35% of toys tested in the laboratory). In most cases, small parts would get detached, which could easily be swallowed by the child, the stitches in the mascots would break and the filling would stick out. So popular slime had the permissible migration value of boron exceeded - this element is a component of borax and makes the toy flexible, but liquid slime must not have more than 300 mg/kg of it. Otherwise it can cause nausea, vomiting, agitation and even nervous system disorders.

Laboratory staff also verify the phthalate content of plastic toys, the presence of allergens or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - the latter are usually found in black coloured rubber. It was established that in 36 toys the level of these substances was too high. For example, the phthalate content in a ball was 50% (the limit is from 0.1% to 0.3% of the weight of the toy, depending on the type of phthalate), the amount of PAHs in the car tyres was too high.

“When choosing a toy, we must remember that each time we should pay attention to several important elements that are indicated below, which protect the child from the threat posed by a dangerous toy they were given. One in three toys tested in the UOKiK laboratories is qualified by us to be removed from the market. We should therefore be careful and verify the safety of the toys before buying them, relying on common sense, not on advertising or pressure from an unaware child. After all, as adults, we are responsible for the youngest consumers whom we love so much,” stresses Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK.

In most cases, defective toys were withdrawn from the market.

Dear parent, please remember:

  1. Each toy shall bear a CE certification mark which confirms the toys' conformity with relevant safety requirements. You will find it on the toy itself, on the packaging, or on the label.
  2. Buy toys that are suitable for the child’s age group. For a toddler under 3 years old, toys with this mark are not suitable:

  1. Check if small parts are not detached from it and if the batteries in the toy phone are not too easily accessible to your child. Check for sharp and protruding parts of the toy that could injure the child. For example, check out the mascot, bicycle handlebars, and doll stroller frame.
  2. Foldable toys such as strollers, ironing boards, chairs, tables should have a lock to prevent accidental folding. Pay attention to the enclosed instructions and warnings. Some toys may require your supervision during use.
  3. Little children have delicate and sensitive hearing, so too loud sounds may damage it. The maximum noise level emitted by the toy is 90 dB. If the sound seems too loud and pushy already at the store - choose another product.
  4. You have the right to a warranty claim, when the toy gets broken. In order to do that keep your purchase receipt.
  5. If you buy online, you can  cancel your purchase within 14 days without stating a reason.
  6. If you have any doubts as to the quality of a toy, please contact Trade Inspection Authority.

Consumer support:

Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer ombudsmen – in your town or district
Regional Consumer Centres: 22 299 60 90 – Dlakonsumenta.pl
Provincial Trade Inspection Authority Offices.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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