Essex Trading Standards are warning parents of the dangers of unsafe toys after an investigation in the county uncovered retailers selling kids products with inadequate casing for batteries.
Ten toys were bought from discount stores and market stalls in Essex between November and January, three of which were found to have small batteries easily accessible to children. If button batteries are swallowed, not only do they pose a choking risk they can also release an alkali that can permanently damage a child’s oesophagus.
All ten toys were tested for mechanical and physical risks. One - a toy car - also broke into small parts when dropped, posing a further choking hazard, and its packaging was a suffocation risk.
Following advice from Trading Standards, the business responsible for importing the toy car has had all remaining stock destroyed. Other businesses are liaising with Trading Standards and redesigning and relabelling toys to make them safe.
On 14 March Trading Standards Officers publicised the dangers of small batteries in toys to 300 Year 5 children from Uttlesford schools, at a careers fair hosted by Dunmow St Mary’s primary school.