Published: Tue, 10 December 2013
Children in Ireland will be safer this Christmas when playing with toys, thanks to strengthened measures to remove and prohibit dangerous toys from the EU, according to Sean Kelly MEP.
“Parents might be surprised to learn that over 400 toys were removed from the EU market in the past year, due to safety concerns,” the South MEP said in the European Parliament, Strasbourg this week.
“Thanks to the EU’s Toy Safety Directive we can ensure products designed for children are safer. For example, the Directive regulates the chemicals used in the manufacture of toys and their design in order to prevent any damage to health of the young users.
“Alongside the Directive, we have the Rapid Information System for Non-food Products. This system has detected 433 different toy products of concern in the past year and subsequently removed from the EU market,” Mr Kelly explained.
Most of the dangerous items detected originated in China and were removed from the market due to faulty or sharp components, harmful substances or because of a dangerous product design.
“These poorly manufactured toys were detected in one of our 28 Member States but thanks to our rapid warning system, the EU rules meant their withdrawal from all 28 countries. The system is so effective that it only takes one national safety authority to spot a flawed or dangerous product.”
MEP Kelly, a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry said the Rapid Information System was “a huge step forward in protecting our children from harm”, particularly infants who place a lot of objects in their mouths.
“It is also a vote of confidence in the highly regulated home-grown EU toy sector. There are 2,000 toy companies in the EU, employing over 100,000 people – helping Santa Claus prepare for Christmas Eve every year!”
Mr Kelly advised parents to look for the EU’s CE mark on toys – the manufacturer’s declaration that the toy meets the essential requirements of the European Toy Safety Directive.