Buying toys that are handmade is a lovely thing, you’re helping out the little people instead of big companies, you’re getting something personal with love put in, its likely different to whats available anywhere else! whats not to love? Of course, when you’re buying handmade online, it is somewhat of a risk as you don’t know exactly what you’re getting until it arrives! There are certain things you can look for and ask for when it comes to buying toys online especially to ensure your toy purchases are safe!
Toys should all be CE marked(handmade or not!) If it’s not got the CE, it’s not been tested and you just don’t know how safe or unsafe it may be.
For reference the CE mark covers :
- The chemical side – no nasties for the small people who mouthe toys
- The physical side – length of straps to avoid strangulation, whether there are small parts to choke on, and how breakable to toy is and whether it could cause harm,
- The flammability side – how the toy burns,
- and also gives you a point to return to should anything happen.
Always check when buying something for children that its CE marked – remembering online it might not be advertised as it, even in handmade goods! With a toy its always meant to be so it is assumed that it is (but its not always the case! so do check!) Any shop who has been through the process will be more than happy to talk about what they’ve done to make their toys safe for you. Remember almost everything which looks like a toy needs a CE mark, so even if what you’re buying is not directly a toy, but holds the characteristics of a toy, it probably needs the CE mark to help keep the children in your life safe.
If you’re buying at a craft fair, the toys should have a CE label attached them (this can be sewn in or on a swing tag) which should have the CE mark and contact details of the maker, as well as washing instructions and a number or name.
What about Clothes?
Clothes do not need a CE mark, but should have a label for traceability, however dressing up clothes do! If you’re tutu buying, check out the shop over all and what they are selling(special occasion wear may not CE mark, but children’s items should be) and be sure to think about how your child is likely to use the tutu, is it part of a special outfit, or is it going to be used for dressing up thereafter? If in doubt seek out a tutu maker who CE marks to be safe.
Don’t forget if you’re baby gift buying , dummy clips also have some strict rules to abide by! As do dummies and other baby items, so ‘blinged’ up altered baby items are not safe.
When it comes to decorations, bear in mind that not all decorations may be CE marked, and they’re meant for decorations rather than play. If you’re buying a certain elf type, or a soft toy with a Christmas/easter etc theme, it should still be tested. If its huggable, it needs a CE mark.
Choose well, and always pay safely!
As always to avoid disappointment it comes to ordering online check the reviews of your seller, and also use Paypal to protect your money(note: you don’t need a paypal account to pay). Good sellers will always pay their own sellers fees and invoice you, rather than asking you to pay friends and family or bank transfer – paying this way is not protected and should your item not arrive you have no claim to your money back.
Read the terms and conditions, as personalised items may not be returnable, so also check those T+Cs which should be available at point of purchase. Online sellers are all bound by distance selling rules, so its worth knowing your rights there too.
Feel free to check out our member’s directory for some great toy sellers to visit (use the search tool for something in particular!) Happy Shopping!