Parents and carers are being warned of the dangers posed by an acrobat stacking toy found to pose a risk of choking and suffocation due to small parts.
The ‘Stackrobat’ toy, which was being sold on www.brilox.com, was investigated by Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council Trading Standards following a report from a concerned member of the public.
Upon investigation, the Trading Standards team discovered the toy being marketed online as “perfect for kids of all ages”, inviting a parent or carer to reasonably assume the toy was suitable for and could be given to any child, including under threes, as no other warning was present on-line.
Toys for under-threes must comply with strict safety rules and must not contain or produce small parts.
However, following analysis of its features and presentation, the Stacrobat was found to be clearly intended for use by, and appealing to, children under three. Further alarm was raised when the team discovered the ‘Stackrobat’ toy contains small balls which, if swallowed by a young child, could obstruct the airways leading to suffocation. In addition, the parts which connect the two sides of the plastic acrobat figure together can be easily detached, which presents a choking risk.
It was also found that a warning on the physical packaging of the toy which stated “not suitable for children under three” contradicted the clear intended use of, and target audience for the toy. Such warnings must not be misused to circumvent the safety requirements.
Parents or carers in possession of this toy are urged to stop children playing with it immediately, and not to allow them to have access to it.
Neither the toy nor its packaging carried the manufacturer or importer’s name and address, as legally required, making it difficult to locate where the product was imported and sold.
As a result of intervention by Stirling and Clackmannanshire Trading Standards, a website selling the toy has been taken down. In addition, several online market places have recalled the toy and have removed listings or are in the process of doing so.
Convenor of the Environment and Housing Committee, Councillor Jim Thomson, said: “We know many people have turned to online market places especially because of the Covid-19 restrictions. We would however urge people to only buy toys from well-known reputable sellers.”
Vice Convenor, Councillor Danny Gibson, said: “The consequences of buying one of these toys for a young child could be very serious indeed. I’m pleased that a vigilant member of the public took the time to contact trading standards and report this issue to help protect the public.”
For consumer advice or to report safety concerns regarding products to your local Trading Standards please contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.