Stay Safe if Buying second-hand toys

To raise awareness of Child Safety Week, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Trading Standards Service have issued advice to local consumers on buying second-hand toys.

The aim of the annual Child Accident Prevention Trust campaign, which takes place from 6 to 12 June, is to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented.

Colin Smyth, Chair of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee points out that: “There is never a shortage of second hand toys and often they can look as good as new, and so it’s easy to assume they must be safe. Child Safety Week highlights ways in which only a child could make something that looks safe become a life-threatening hazard. It’s worth taking a few minutes to think about this when shopping for toys, especially if they are second hand.”

When buying second hand toys consumers should ask themselves the following questions:

“How old is the toy and are all of its parts intact?”

·         Look out for worn down edges.

·         What is it made of, have the materials been identified as dangerous since the toy was first made such as phthalates (chemicals used in the manufacture of some plastics) or lead paint.

·         Is the toy broken in any way that may pose a danger

“Does it have small parts?” 

·         Will any of the parts of the toy pose a choking hazard should they become detached?

·         Check to see if the batteries have eroded or leaked.

·         Can the child  easily access the batteries or is it secured by a screw down panel for example

“What is the general condition of the item?” 

·         Is it clean, look out for paint flaking or stitching coming away.

·         Are there hidden dangers where little fingers or toes can become trapped.

·         If the toy has brakes check that they work properly.

Trading Standards would ask anyone with any concerns regarding the safety of both new or second-hand toys  being sold by a retailer to report them by calling the Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 03454 04 05 06


The Toy Safety Regulations 2011 create provisions for the labelling and safety of new toys being sold or offered for sale in the EU.   Second hand toys being offered for sale by retail would be considered under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

A toy is defined as “a product designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under 14 years of age”.

Certain items commonly considered by the public as toys are in fact exempt from the toy safety regulations these include decorative objects for festivities and celebrations, Jigsaws with over 500 pieces and sporting equipment.

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