Numerous online sellers selling dangerous Christmas gifts have been discovered by the government’s product safety inspector.  

It is important for parents to make sure that no dangerous toys are hidden under Christmas trees this year.

Among the products exposed by the Office for Product Safety & Standards’ pre-Christmas crackdown were two brands of slime toys.

Both ‘Glacier slime and ‘Ninja’ contained toxic amounts of boron, which could cause harm to children’s reproductive system if inhaled.

Ninja slime contains 701 mg/kg of Boron, and comes with a straw. Instructions also come with it, which encourages children to “blow bubbles” with the poisonous goo, increasing the chance of accidental ingestion.

'Ninja slime', one of the dangerous toys uncovered by the government probe into hazardous toys, contains toxic levels of boron - and yet comes with a straw and instructions that encourage children to blow bubbles with it, increasing the risk of accidental ingestion

One of the hazardous toys found by government inspections, ‘Ninja Slime’ contains high levels of toxic boron. However, it comes with a straw as well as instructions. This encourages children to create bubbles using the straw.

An excessive concentration of cancer-causing agents was found in a toy called “baby dolls in bathtub shower sets”, which is a game that children play with.

Baby doll in bathtub shower set contains potentially cancer-causing concentrations of phthalates

Baby doll in bathtub shower set contains potentially cancer-causing concentrations of phthalates

The product safety report reads: ‘A young child playing with the toy is exposed to phthalates which can potentially harm a child’s health either via cancer or non-cancer effects.’

According to the report the doll’s role-playing baby dolls, which were sold on eBay prior to the crackdown before Christmas, pose a potential choking threat to children.   

Users were also warned about a pink hoverboard manufactured under the name Mega Motion. 

Hidden in the hoverboard’s pink reflective casing is a transformer that was poorly constructed and can cause serious injury to its operator if it’s not plugged into for charging. 

The’serious danger’ of strangulation was identified as a bear-shaped xylophone that had a shape-sorter and puzzle-block on its side.

A pink hoverboard, sold under the brand name 'Mega Motion', was withdrawn for having a 'poorly built transformer' that could electrocute when plugged in for charging

Pink hoverboard sold under the name Mega Motion was taken off market due to a “poorly constructed transformer” that can cause an electrocute when it is plugged into for charging.

A bear-shaped xylophone had a cord twice the permitted length, presenting a risk of strangulation

The cord of a bear-shaped xylophone was twice as long as the allowed length. This presented a danger for strangulation 

Amazon UK bought the cute looking bear in August 2020, and it was still available for sale between October 2021 and October 2021. The pull-along cord measured 420mm. This is twice what Amazon UK allowed.

The report states that if the cord is too long, children may tie it to their necks and become entangled. This could lead to strangulation. 

After being exposed to the risk of choking, colourful baby wrist socks made from China were removed at the border. 

Colourful baby wrist socks contained a rattle that could easily dislodge, causing choking

Baby wrist socks in bright colours contained a rattle which was easy to dislodge and could cause choking.

Tests by the Office for Product Safety & Standards revealed the rattle behind the yellow bug-like characters could easily be removed and put in the baby’s mouth during play. 

A baby walker designed to look like a car and featuring a rabbit front end also failed safety inspections.

Testers discovered that the rabbit at the front of the product would split into 5 pieces of plastic when it was dropped. They also found a way to release a screw.

A baby walker shaped like a car with a rabbit on the front shattered easily, producing debris that could be swallowed

Baby walker that looks like a car, with a rabbit at the front. It can easily be smashed and produced debris that could then be eaten.

Is slime safe or dangerous? 

The results of a probe on slime toys and putty toys in the UK for 2019 were alarming.

The government’s product safety office collected 13 samples. Seven were not compliant, while five others were labeled’serious failures’.

The probe revealed that non-compliant products were being withdrawn from the market and have been replaced by safe slime. 

The product safety report states that a baby under the age of 36 months can easily choke from the delicate bunny’s death.  

Following failing product-safety testing, over 12,500 uninsured products (including toys) were taken out of supply in 2021.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (an agency of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) reviews products from third-party sellers on online marketplaces, ensuring those that fail are removed from sale.

Return hazardous goods purchased by customers can be returned and refunded.      

Consumer Minister Paul Scully said: ‘No parent should have to worry about the safety of the toys they’ve bought their kids at Christmas. 

‘Sadly, there are greater threats than finding a lump of coal under the tree on Christmas morning which is why we’re pulling out all the stops to keep everyone safe. 

‘The UK has some of the highest product safety standards in the world and we’re hard at work to ensure nothing from the naughty list makes its way into Santa’s sleigh this Christmas.’