Magnetic Toys Could Carry Warning

Magnet Warning

03.03.2008

The European Commission has backed rules that will see toys containing magnets carrying compulsory safety warnings by the summer following several safety scares.

Concerns over the dangers of swallowing magnets saw the withdrawal from the market of more than 18 million toys worldwide last year.

If approved by MEPs, EU Governments will have three months to ensure the new warning label is on all magnetic toys. European Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said: "Tiny magnets in toys are often no bigger than the size of a pencil eraser but they have become very powerful.

"There is mounting evidence of the real injures that can be caused when tiny magnets end up in children's mouths if they come lose and are swallowed.

"The warning label will spell out clearly for parents the potentially serious risks, and ensure extra vigilance."

There are currently no rules or safety standards specifically concerning magnetic toys.

But the new warning applies to all magnetic children's products, so any that contain loose or detachable magnets or any magnetic part small enough to be swallowed will be covered.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Katrina Elsey from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors said: "It is encouraging that toys containing magnets are to carry safety warnings as this will encourage consumers to think carefully about the toys they purchase for children. Small magnets in toys can be extremely dangerous to young children and it will also encourage businesses to improve their toys designs in the future."