Fair Trading officers have begun inspecting Queensland retailers to ensure that the toys on their shelves meet safety standards, in a pre-Christmas blitz.
Officers who are part of Operation Safe Christmas 2018 will focus on checking toys that have been identified as 'high risk'.
Fair Trading acting executive director, Sharon Simmers, said that toys that are for young children, projectile toys and toys with magnets will be a particular focus of the operation.
“With the Christmas shopping season ramping up, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will be visiting stores to check toys meet safety benchmarks.
“Toys marketed for young children must not have small parts that could be a choking hazard.
“Small magnets are very dangerous if swallowed, so toys containing hazardous magnets must be clearly labelled, and the magnets must not be able to come loose.
“Projectile toys must have protective tips to prevent injury if they hit someone, especially in the eye.
“Officers will also be on the lookout for banned yo-yo water balls, which can be a strangulation hazard and may also be filled with a liquid that can cause illness or skin irritation.”
Simmers also said that pop-up shops will also be included in the operation, as these stalls can sell cheap goods which may not meet safety standards.
“Some of these stalls are set up specifically to sell Christmas presents, and may have cheaper goods to tempt shoppers into an impulse, last-minute buy.
“The OFT will liaise with the operators of these shops, as well as all kinds of stores, to make sure they are aware of their responsibilities under product safety laws.
“Any items found that do not comply with mandatory safety standards will be removed from sale permanently, unless they can be brought up to standard.”
In 2017, Operation Safe Christmas saw the permanent removal of five product lines from retail shelves, while an additional seven items were removed for further testing and a portable pool and 15 aquatic products were taken off shelves due to a lack of proper labelling.