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Toys Online - Nasty Or Nice?

29th February 2024

Photograph of Toys Online - Nasty Or Nice?

With the cost of living going up, we're all looking for savings. But there are cheap toys for sale on online marketplaces that could seriously harm your child. Use this guide from the Care Inspectorate to help you save money but buy safely.

Here we explain:

how to tell a safe seller from a dodgy dealer
which toys are most dangerous, especially if you're buying from an online platform.
Dodgy dealer or safe seller?
We tend to think: if we can buy it, it must be safe.

This is generally true for toys you buy from:

high street chains, including their online stores
the websites of big-name toy brands.
It gets more complicated when you buy from an online platform. Even if you type in the brand name of the toy you want, you'll be presented with lots of options, including cheaper copycats.

Remember, when you buy from an online platform:

not everything they sell is supplied by them
they don’t have to check that toys from other sellers are safe.
So, if it’s not a brand name you know, that awesome toy you bagged at a bargain price could be coming from a dodgy dealer anywhere in the world. And it could be dangerous for your child.

Which toys are most dangerous?
If all of this sounds like a nightmare before Christmas, don’t worry. Here we highlight four dangerous types of toys to watch out for:

Most dangerous toys
Toys with accessible button batteries that can burn through your child’s food pipe.
Super strong magnets that can rip through your child’s belly.
Toys with long cords that can strangle your child.
Cheap electrical toys with chargers that can catch fire or wires that can electrocute your child.

Checklist for buying safely online

Who are you buying from?

The online store of a high street chain? ✔️
The website of a big-name toy brand? ✔️
The manufacturer of the branded toy? ✔️
A company you’ve never heard of? ❌
A company with no UK or EU address ❌
Remember, a toy sold on a well-known online platform may come from another company, not from the platform itself.

Where is the seller based?

Here in the UK? ✔️
Overseas, where UK safety standards may not apply? ❌
Watch out! A UK PO Box may hide the fact that a company is actually based overseas.