COLUMN: Don’t let fake goods ruin your Christmas

The toys bought with the money raised at a car meet
The toys bought with the money raised at a car meet

Ensure youngsters have a merry Christmas by following top tips to avoid counterfeit goods.

The law states that all toys have to be safe but dangerous toys are still out there so it’s best to be careful and follow some top tips.

Firstly, only buy from established sources if you can afford to. Take extra care if buying second-hand – check for damage and make sure safety instructions are there.

Secondly, look out for the CE mark, all new toys have to carry this mark, it’s put on by the manufacturer to show that the toy meets legal requirements.

Avoid toys with loose pile fabric or hair which sheds easily presenting a choking, toys with small components or parts which detach, sharp points and edges or finger traps.

Think about battery safety. Use batteries correctly and don’t leave small disc batteries lying around. Young children are at risk of choking or being poisoned.

Spotting fakes? Think about the product, the price and the place they’re being sold. We’ve recently put out a warning about cheap `copycat’ versions of hoverboards, which normally cost between £300 and £600, but are popping up online for around £100.

Many of the cheaper versions have failed electrical safety tests. Ask yourself does it match the quality of the real product? Fakes often have incorrect spelling. Do the logos look right? Is the item suspiciously cheap?