Toys with risks such as toxic chemicals, possible strangulation and choking hazards topped the list this of unsafe toys this year

Last minute Christmas shoppers should be on the look-out for unsafe toys this festive season, with the Office of Fair Trading seizing 91 toys in their annual pre-Christmas safety blitz.

Attorney-General Paul Lucas said that while OFT had surveyed 360 traders and unsafe toys were removed from sale at 42 shops, market stalls and importer warehouses, parents needed to remain vigilant.

Mr Lucas said 57 toys had been confirmed as unsafe and a further 34 were still under investigation but had been pulled from shelves.

He said Australia had some of the most rigorous toy safety standards in the world but increased demand for toys in the lead up to Christmas could tempt traders looking for a quick buck to import cheap toys.

?These dangerous toys are then sold on to discount stores and market traders where they inevitably fall into the hands of Queensland children,? Mr Lucas said.

?That?s why OFT officers have been out and about since September as part of the annual pre-Christmas inspection to help ensure unsafe toys don?t end up under the Christmas tree.

?But parents and people buying gifts for children also need to do their bit.

?At the end of the day, nothing can replace commonsense.

?The last thing we want to see is a child being rushed to hospital with an injury or worse because an inappropriate toy was given to them as a gift.

?Parents also need to be wary that even children playing with toys deemed safe still need supervision.

?A close parental eye is one of the best safety measures going around this Christmas.?

Mr Lucas said toys with risks such as toxic chemicals, possible strangulation and choking hazards topped the list this of unsafe toys this year.

Some items to be uncovered included baby squeeze toys that contained high levels of a toxic solution and yo-yo balls that posed a strangulation risk – both of which were permanently banned in February.

“If parents believe they have one of these unsafe toys, they should remove it from the child’s possession immediately and contact the Office of Fair Trading,” he said.

While OFT will continue to be on the lookout for unsafe toys, parents can help keep their children safe by following a few simple toy safety rules:

? 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, because of their shape, may be easily swallowed or have sharp edges or points

? Surface ? make sure all finishes are non-toxic (this should be stated on the packaging)

? Strings ? anything over 30cm is a strangulation hazard for a small child and should be removed

? Supervision ? nothing replaces close supervision.

Parents, importers and traders can find all the information they need on toy safety standards and bans by visiting www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or www.productsafety.gov.au or phoning 13 74 68.

Pictures of toys identified during the investigation and confirmed as unsafe can be found at: www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/toys-removed-from-sale-2011.htm