Half of online toys could KILL reveals new report – here are the first aid skills every parent needs to know
ALMOST half of toys sold online could be lethal to your kids, a new report has revealed.
Products sold on the likes of Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and Wish "could choke, strangle, burn, poison and electrocute your children", the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) has warned.
Its report comes after a two-year-old girl was left in a critical condition after swallowing 14 magnets, thinking they were sweets.
Becca McCarthy swallowed the brightly coloured balls bought from eBay when mum Sam was not looking. She had to have her intestines removed in order to get the toys out.
BTHA’s new campaign is being spearheaded by Sam and is calling for the law to be changed urgently so that kids can play without injury or death.
She said: "I would hate for any other child to go through what Becca suffered because of buying dangerous toys via online marketplaces."
As part of the report, 255 toys sold by third party sellers were randomly selected. After being inspected and tested, the experts at BTHA found that 88 per cent were illegal and that 48 per cent were unsafe for children to play with.
As Christmas approaches and more and more people start their online shopping the BTHA wants to make sure that all toys for sale won't harm kids.
Natasha Crookes, Director of Public Affairs for the BTHA, said: “It is not acceptable that unsafe and non -compliant toys are simply allowed to enter the UK market, putting children at risk of serious harm.
"We believe the Government has to step in to legislate this wild-west of safety and we must see politicians from all sides of the House coming together to protect children as part of the UK review of the product safety framework in 2021.”
For the last three years the BHTA has been calling for the law to be changed and says that this is an 'endemic' and is campaigning for legal reform so that online marketplaces are held accountable for the products sold via their platforms that they give a shop window to for UK consumers.
What have the third party sites said?
The report focuses on toys sold on Amazon, eBay, Wish and AliExpress.
In a statement AliExpress said: "AliExpress takes very seriously the safety of all our customers and we work hard to ensure a safe shopping environment.
"We are investigating the items identified by The British Toy and Hobby Association Report and we will take appropriate action in accordance with our platform rules, including where applicable removal of products and penalising sellers found to be violating our platform rules and regulations."
Amazon said that in response to the BTHA's report, toys mentioned in Appendix 1 had been removed.
A spokesperson said that safety is important to the brand and that the products in question are being investigated as a matter of urgency.
They added: "We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations and we have proactive measures in place to prevent suspicious or non-compliant products from being listed.
"Last year, our machine learning tools and investigators proactively blocked more than ten billion suspect listings for various forms of abuse, including non-compliance, before they were published to our store.
"We also continuously scan data points related to sellers, products, brands, and relevant authorities to detect activity that indicates products offered in our store might be a concern."
When appropriate Amazon said it removes products, reaches out to sellers, manufacturers, and government agencies for additional information, or take other actions.
"If customers have concerns about an item they’ve purchased, we encourage them to contact our Customer Service team directly so we can investigate and take appropriate action", they added.
A Government spokesperson said:"The Government's top priority is to keep people safe, which is why goods sold in the UK must meet some of the strictest safety laws in the world. Our tough rules mean products must always be safe before being placed on the market.
"The Office for Product Safety and Standards has been actively identifying products that pose a serious risk but are still available online. We work with local Trading Standards and online platforms to ensure these products are removed from sale."
A spokesperson for Wish said that all merchants trading on the platform undergo certain checks before being permitted to trade.
"They are also required through our Merchant Policies and Terms of Service to adhere to all applicable product compliance laws and regulations, including local laws and safety standards, wherever their goods are sold.
“Where a product doesn't meet those standards, it is promptly removed and, where deemed appropriate by Wish, the responsible merchant has their account privileges revoked, faces suspension, or even removal from the platform.
"We are continually exploring a number of ways to help prevent, detect, and remove unsafe items from appearing on the platform. This is part of our commitment to ensure we are creating a safe and fun environment for users to shop online."
The Sun has also contacted eBay.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE
No matter how careful you are when it comes to purchasing toys, accidents can happen.
You should always read the label of a toy to make sure it is suitable for your child and to check for possible choking hazards.
In order to be prepared, there are some first-aid tips you can learn to make sure you can help your child if they get into difficulties.
Georgie Hart, Head of Community Education at the British Red Cross said: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to see their child in an emergency and not be able to help, whether that's a knock on the head, choking or an accidental poisoning.
“This is why learning basic first aid is one of the most important skills you can learn – it's the kind thing to do and it could save a life.”
Here are Georgie's top tips.
A baby who is choking won’t be able to breathe which means they will not be crying, coughing or making any other noise.
To help, hold them carefully face down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom and hit them firmly on the back five times.
It is likely that this will clear the blockage. If not, turn the baby over and give up to five chest thrusts.
You do this by placing two fingers on the lower part of the breastbone, one finger’s breadth below the infant’s nipple line and pushing downwards sharply five times.
If the blockage still won’t dislodge, call 999 and continue giving back blows followed by chest thrusts until help arrives.
If the baby becomes unresponsive you will need to perform CPR (see ‘unresponsive and not breathing’ below).
Remember you are not alone, the 999 operator will be able to talk you through the correct steps over the phone while you wait.
The choking first aid for children (from one year to puberty) is different to babies – find it on the Red Cross website.
Young children are often putting things in their mouth, but sometimes what looks tasty to them can be very dangerous if swallowed.
Things like prescription or non-prescription drugs, household cleaning products and some plants can all be harmful.
Firstly, establish what they have taken, when they took it and how much they took.
Then call 999 or 112 for emergency help as soon as possible. If you are not sure if they have taken something, call 999 anyway.
Do not make them sick or give them a drink as you could cause further damage to their throat or block their airway.
Reassure them while you wait for help to arrive.
Burns are very common, especially for young children, and fast action can reduce the impact of the injury on their delicate skin.
The most important thing to do is cool the burn under cold running water for at least 20 minutes – this will reduce their pain, swelling and the risk of scarring.
After the burn has been cooled, remove any watches, belts or constricting clothing then cover it with clingfilm or a clean plastic bag as these will not stick to the injury.
Always seek medical advice if a baby or child has been burned and call 999 if necessary.
If a child has injured their head, they may have pain, a bump, a headache and feel dizzy.
Get them to rest and apply something cold to the injury.
Call 999 if the blow to the head was severe, they become drowsy, vomit or their condition worsens.
If the injury is the result of a sporting accident, do not allow your child to return to the sport until they have been fully assessed by a medical practitioner.
Always seek medical advice if they have had previous brain surgery, take anti-coagulant medications or are intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.
For more tips and advice about keeping your child safe, download The British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid App from the Apple Store or Google Play.
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