A novelty lighter banned by NSW Fair Trading inspectors at Ballina.
A novelty lighter banned by NSW Fair Trading inspectors at Ballina. Contributed

Banned item found in Ballina during dangerous toys blitz

A DANGEROUS, banned novelty product which could kill or injure children has been ordered off the shelves in Ballina, Minister for Fair Trading Matt Kean said today.

Mr Kean said NSW Fair Trading inspectors had identified the item - a toy-like novelty cigarette lighter - during a pre-Christmas safety blitz.

NSW Fair Trading inspectors visited 903 businesses across NSW looking for dangerous toys.
NSW Fair Trading inspectors visited 903 businesses across NSW looking for dangerous toys. Contributed

This year's pre-Christmas blitz saw NSW Fair Trading inspectors visit 903 businesses across NSW and inspect 10,727 individual products, with a focus on toys aimed at small children, aquatic toys and projectiles. Forty-one items were ordered to be withdrawn from sale.

"Everything identified in the blitz has been removed from sale and Fair Trading will take immediate action against those traders,” Mr Kean said.

Across NSW, most of the dangerous toys were aimed at children three years and under, with dangerous small parts and choking hazards the most common feature.

Mr Kean said it was frighteningly easy for a child to break off a small part and choke in minutes.

"During their testing, Fair Trading inspectors use a tube the same size as a small child's oesphagus to see if there is a choking risk,” he said.

Under Australian Consumer Law, individuals caught selling dangerous toys face a maximum fine of $220,000 while companies can face fines of up to $1.1 million.

Customers who have inadvertently purchased an unsafe toy are entitled to a refund of the purchase price. If they decide not to seek a refund, they should safely dispose of the toy immediately.



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