NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Child found with wiring around neck sparks online soft toy warning

Toys Image copyright Moray Council

A toddler found with electrical wiring from a teddy bear wrapped around her neck has sparked a warning about some toys bought online.

Moray Council said her family, from Elgin, bought two light-up teddy bears via the site.

The three-year-old girl, in her cot, managed to open the zip on the back of one of the toys and expose the wiring.

Trading standards officers described the toys as among the worst examples of unsafe toys they had come across.

They have appealed to other parents to be extremely careful when buying toys on the internet.

In addition to the 1.5-2m of LED wiring, trading standards officers identified multiple hazards with the toys:

  • The stuffing was a choking hazard, easily accessed through a zip - and the little girl had unzipped the teddy and pulled some of it out
  • The teddies had three basic batteries and although they were low voltage, officers had concerns that they were not fitted properly
  • The small parts - eyes, nose etc - were another choking hazard
  • The material may have been flammable

Online purchase

Peter Adamson, Moray Council's trading standards manager, said: "Protecting children from dangerous toys is one of our highest priorities and it was shocking when these teddy bears were brought to our notice.

"It would appear that because the toys were bought direct online, they had evaded all of the normal checks that would normally take place when goods are imported into the EU and the UK.

"Fortunately, in this instance no harm came to the child but we need to warn potential purchasers of the risks they take when buying toys for young children from suppliers who cut corners."

The teddies had no tags on them indicating where they were made. There was no CE mark indicating they met EU safety standards.

Mr Adamson added: "Our officers are continuing their inquiries to try and determine where these toys came from."

Trading standards officers have contacted their equivalent in the US - the US Safety Commission - and are waiting for a response.