Buy safe toys

“I would hate for any other child to go through what Becca suffered because of buying dangerous toys via online marketplaces.” Becca’s mother 

News reports of shortages and delivery problems for children’s toys this Christmas have many of us reaching for our phones to get shopping and quick!

But – if you’re searching for Black Friday toy deals – how do you know if the toys you’re buying online are dangerous toys for kids?

Here we explain:

  • how to tell a safe seller from a dodgy dealer
  • which toys are most dangerous, especially if you’re buying from an online platform.

Dodgy dealer or safe seller?

We tend to think: if we can buy it, it must be safe. 

This is generally true for toys you buy from:

  • high street chains, including their online stores
  • the websites of big-name toy brands.

It gets more complicated when you buy from an online platform. Even if you type in the brand name of the toy you want, you’ll be presented with lots of options, including cheaper copycats.

Remember, when you buy from an online platform:

  • not everything they sell is supplied by them
  • they don’t have to check that toys from other sellers are safe.

So, if it’s not a brand name you know, that awesome toy you bagged at a bargain price could be coming from a dodgy dealer anywhere in the world. And it could be dangerous for your child.

Which toys are most dangerous?

If all of this sounds like a nightmare before Christmas, don’t worry. Here we highlight four dangerous types of toys to watch out for:

Most dangerous toys

  • Toys with accessible button batteries that can burn through your child’s food pipe.

  • Super strong magnets that can rip through your child’s belly.

  • Toys with long cords that can strangle your child.

  • Cheap electrical toys with chargers that can catch fire or wires that can electrocute your child.

    Checklist for buying safely online

    Who are you buying from?

    • The online store of a high street chain? ✔️
    • The website of a big-name toy brand? ✔️
    • The manufacturer of the branded toy? ✔️
    • A company you’ve never heard of? ❌
    • A company with no UK or EU address ❌

    Remember, a toy sold on a well-known online platform may come from another company, not from the platform itself.

    Where is the seller based?

    • Here in the UK? ✔️
    • Overseas, where UK safety standards may not apply? ❌

    Watch out! A UK PO Box may hide the fact that a company is actually based overseas.

    This poster from the Office for Product Safety and Standards encourages you to know your risks when shopping online.

    How to report dangerous toys

    Spotted a toy you think may be dangerous? Trading Standards make it easy for you to report concerns about dangerous toys, whether in the shops or online.

    Simply call:


    More information on toy safety

    Join our free lunchtime webinar on 6th December – Dangerous toys and how to avoid buying them.

    Learn why you may pay more for safe toys.

    Find out more about the dangers of button batteries and super strong magnets.

    Download and share our free gif and photos, plus a free poster, leaflet and social media assets from the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

    Read the British Toy and Hobby Association’s ‘Still toying with children’s safety’ report and sign their petition calling on Government to take action.