Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath says the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is making sure showbag safety is up to scratch in the lead-up to the Ekka.
Ekka items also under the spotlight including sunglasses, cosmetics, temporary tattoos and toys and novelties containing button batteries.
“We know what an exciting time of year this is for children and we want to make sure that there aren’t any nasty surprises,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“That’s why the OFT conducts compliance checks before and during Ekka.
“So far, Fair Trading inspectors have combed through over 200 showbags to check their contents are up to standard.”
Although showbags had been checked, parents and carers should still think carefully about which toys and novelties they buy for children.
“Even if a product meets safety standards, it may not be age-appropriate, especially for children under three,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“It may be difficult to talk a child out of a particular showbag that has all the bells and whistles, but parents and carers can go through showbags and remove items on the quiet if they know what to look out for.
“Button batteries found in many small toys and novelties can be fatal if swallowed, and the battery compartment must be child resistant and secure.
“Sunglasses need to be labelled correctly so parents and carers know the level of UV protection they provide, and how they should be used. For example, a lens category of zero means the glasses have a very low ability to reduce sun glare and provide little or no protection from UV.
“Always check the labelling on cosmetics and temporary tattoos because some ingredients can cause severe allergic reactions in some children.
“Finally, the OFT has noticed there are a lot of projectile toys making an appearance at the Ekka this year.
“Parents and carers should check these toys for sharp edges or points that could cause injury, especially if they hit someone in the eye, and be aware that small darts with suction cup ends are a choking hazard.”
Mrs D’Ath said showbag suppliers had been very cooperative throughout the OFT’s compliance operation, and inspectors would continue to conduct checks throughout the Ekka.
Parents and carers are urged to take the “Five S” approach when checking through their children’s purchases:
- Size – the smaller the child, the bigger the toy should be (anything smaller than a ping pong ball is too small for a child under three)
- Shape – be wary of products that may be easily swallowed or have sharp edges or points
- Surface – make sure all finishes are non-toxic (this should be stated on packaging)
- Strings – anything over 30cm is a choking hazard for a small child and should be removed
- Supervision – nothing replaces close adult supervision.
Toys and novelties suspected of being unsafe can be reported to the OFT at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath