Ahead of Christmas gift-giving season, parents’ attention has again been drawn to an alarming report on toy safety which revealed that 1 in 5 games found on shelves are dangerous for children and that this number spikes to 1 out of 2 when shopping online, according to France’s Directorate General for Consumer Affairs, Competition and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

The report published last year ahead of Christmas led to France’s destruction of 120,000 toys from the shelves of shops. However, the toys remained available for purchase online which is a much more difficult market to regulate.

The toys in question posed risks for small children stemming from issues such as easily accessible batteries, high levels of radiation, small and easily breakable parts which cause choking hazards, toys that presented a strangulation hazard, and more.

Last Friday the Minister of Commerce of France said, “You can’t ‘play’ with the safety of toys” while presenting the results of the 2022 survey. The Minister noted that the review is being completed for 2023 and so far the results show that the availability of unsafe toys for children remain at approximately the same levels as the 2022 review. They are particularly concerned about the prevalence of accessible batteries and choking hazards.

The DGCCRF’s conducts controls on a portion of the toys available on the market and examines the entire value chain from producers to shops. If an issue is found with the construction of a toy, producers have the opportunity to recall the item and rectify the issue.