Christmas Toy Recalls: Know Your Rights
The Law Of… Getting The Right Gift
Of all recalled products throughout the year in the UK, children's toys make up for 40% of them. With Christmas approaching, thousands of toys will be purchased by excited parents ready for the festive period.
But what happens when a toy recall occurs and what are your rights? Dawn Rose, Personal Injury solicitor, provides advice on buying safe toys for your children and what to do if your purchase turns up on a Christmas present recall list.
How Common Is A Toy Recall?
Product recalls happen every day and you can see what recalls are taking place by checking the Chartered Trading Standards Institute regularly for products you have bought. In Europe, around 545 toys were recalled this year, ranging from dolls to battery operated toys.
The safety standards for toys are far greater than for products aimed at adults, as the safety concerns must be taken more seriously. As a result, more products that are aimed at children, particularly young children, are recalled more often. This is usually just a precautionary measure rather than because a child has actually been hurt because of an incident involving a defective toy.
In the run up to Christmas, many new toys are released in order to spark interest and excitement for children. As a result of the increase in new product releases, it's important to be wary of Christmas toy recalls throughout the festive period and beyond.
How To Purchase Safe Toys For Your Child
Shopping for safe toys can be a minefield for parents with so many things to consider. Fortunately, EU ruling over product safety makes life a little easier for parents when shopping for the perfect Christmas present.
One of the first things to look out for is the presence of a CE Mark. The CE Mark stands for Conformité Européene. It is a declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health and safety protection legislation. If a toy has this mark, it means that the toy has passed relevant toy safety regulations.
Parents seeking further reassurance can also look for The Lion Mark. This was developed by the British Toy and Hobby Association and Toy Fair (BTHA). It is a step further than the CE Mark, as the Lion Mark assures the consumer that the producer of the product adheres to the BTHA Code of Practice which is more comprehensive than the Conformité Européene.
If you shop for products on eBay or other online shopping websites, you may find the product does not display either of these marks. They should, however, have a safety label attached that gives you some guidance on age appropriateness and other safety advice such as if parental supervision is needed when the toy is played with.
You should approach toys that do not display the CE and/or the Lion Mark with caution, as they will not have had to have meet their level of safety regulations.
What Should I Do If A Christmas Present Is Recalled?
If you have identified a present you bought a child as one that has been recalled, the best thing to do is heed the recall. If it is a Christmas toy recall, take the toy from your child and make sure they can no longer access it. Whilst this might be upsetting for the child, you will be protecting their safety and this is paramount.
If you have bought the product within the last six months and still have the receipt, take the product back to the original shop you bought it from. They will provide you with a full refund. If you do not have the receipt, it may be worth contacting the manufacturer of the product or checking their website to find out what you should do next.
Can I Claim For A Toy That Has Caused Injury?
Most of the time, defective toys and other products for children are picked up by the manufacturer and a recall is issued promptly. The Consumer Rights Act (2015) states that products should be of satisfactory quality and should be safe to use. If the product you have bought is not safe, the trader is in breach of their contract with you. All products should be labelled for any potential risks and action should be taken if a safety problem is found.
If your child has been injured because of a defective toy, you could be entitled to claim on behalf of your child.
Compensation can be claimed for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical treatments
- Travel expenses
"It can be so easy to get side-tracked at such a busy time of year, but keeping a keen eye out for toy recalls is important."
"Be particularly wary of battery operated toys as these pose a more dangerous risk to children's health."
"As long as you take safety warnings seriously and take note of the advisory age appropriateness of the toy, you should have no problems. It can be tough if children have older siblings, but speaking with the older child could help protect those younger children from harm."
At Simpson Millar, we can provide you with a wealth of experience in child injury compensation. If you would like to see if you can claim on behalf of your child, contact our Personal Injury team today.