The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is reminding people to check toys are safe for children ahead of the festive season.

A spokesperson from OFT said: ‘Consumers should be vigilant when wrapping presents, and pay attention to any warnings or symbols. This includes paying close attention to age limits and making sure they are suitable.’

The mentioned symbols include the CE mark, the UKCA mark, the BSI kitemark, the lion mark and age suitability mark.

These symbols indicate that products meet applicable EU or UK legislation or standards, whether the manufacturer is a member of the ‘British Toy and Hobby Association’ (the lion mark) and the age suitability of toys due to hazards such as small parts.

Items with these symbols are certified to follow safety guidelines, while also confirming that the materials and manufacturing processes used are of the ‘highest standard’.

The spokesperson continued: ‘Care should be taken to avoid counterfeit toys as these are frequently made without adhering to those strict safety standards.

‘Consumers should be particularly wary of toys that come with poorly written instructions for example, including obvious typos, as these are often counterfeit.’

John Wannenburgh MHK, former chair of the OFT, said: ‘With cost of living pressures, it is going to be difficult financially this winter for many families.

‘Consumers looking for a bargain need to be vigilant when buying cheaper versions of well-known toys in case they are counterfeit and potentially unsafe.

‘It’s an old and much used adage but ‘if the deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.’