Cuts, strangulations, choking… These toys sold on Temu are dangerous for children

Cuts, strangulations, choking... These toys sold on Temu are dangerous for children

Chinese e-commerce platform Temu is popular for its items sold at rock-bottom prices. But some products, even if they are very affordable, can be dangerous for children’s health.

Professionals in the toy sector have been sounding the alarm for several weeks. They warn about the Temu e-commerce platform and more particularly about the dangerousness of the children’s toys that it sells.

95% of toys sold are considered “dangerous”

To find out, the European Federation of Toy Industries, Toy Industries of Europe, obtained 19 toys via Temu, which it had tested by an independent laboratory. Of the 19 items, none comply with European Union regulations, meaning “that they should not be put on sale in the EU” estimates the French Federation of Toy and Childcare Industries (FJP) in a press release.

More serious: 18 of them – or 95% – present a real danger to the safety of children. For example, the toys in question “can cause cuts, airway blockages, choking, strangulation, punctures and chemical hazards.” lists the press release. Before specifying that a “rainbow ribbon rattle” intended for babies presents “sharp edges on metal bells (…), small parts likely to cause choking, rigid protrusions which may cause blockages of the respiratory tract“.

Toys that are no longer for sale on the platform

To complete the process, the European federation TIE contacted the Chinese giant, which responded by taking “measures to make these toys unavailable on their platform”.

Upon receipt of the test results, we immediately launched an internal investigation. While 12 of the affected products had already been removed during our routine checks, we quickly removed the remaining products on February 8, 2024. The remaining 19 products are no longer available on our site” thus states the e-commerce site. A first response which does not completely satisfy the federation. “Although their responsiveness is encouraging, corrective actions are not enough“.

The European Union called to the rescue

If the site’s commitments can reassure, in particular the announcement of “strengthening control of this category of products and the requirements associated with it” but also the “immediate deletion of lists of non-compliant products as soon as they become aware of them“, the TIE and the FJP call on the European Union to react and “to crack down on unscrupulous operators established outside the European Union who ignore the rules and sell dangerous toys”.

Because if Temu is particularly targeted in this work, it is far from being the only platform to sell defective toys. In 2020, TIE conducted an identical study with toys sold by Amazon, eBay, AliExpress and Wish, “whose results were equally worrying“: 97% of toys purchased did not comply with European legislation and 76% were considered dangerous for children.