AROUND 20,000 TOYS were prevented last year from entering Ireland due to health and safety deficiencies.
These toys were mostly targeted for sale in discount shops or at markets and were generally unbranded.
Most of these were found to have come from China.
The products were identified by the National Consumer Agency, which is now known as the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, and is the Irish contact point for the Europe-wide alert system, RAPEX.
The organisation coordinates across agencies to ensure that if a defective product is found to be on the market, preventative action can be taken quickly.
The responsibility for the safety of toys lies with retailers who are required to take appropriate remedial action to deal with safety concerns as they arise.
Consumers are advised to follow a number of guidelines around toys in the run up to Christmas.
This involves ensuring that any toys purchased come with the CE mark – which indicates that European safety standards are met.
Parents are also urged to ensure that toys are age appropriate for their children when purchasing.
Additional care is also encouraged for toys that use batteries or that come with loose parts.