Balance board checks urged after safety plea

One of the seized hoverboards
One of the seized hoverboards
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THREE Wigan shops have taken a popular Christmas gift off their shelves over safety concerns voiced by town hall officers.

Trading standards teams across the country are urging retailers to check with suppliers over unsafe chargers and plugs on balance boards that could spark a house blaze.

And the borough shops have voluntarily stopped selling the items until they receive documentation reassuring buyers they have been safety tested, officers said.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment said: “Our trading standards officers are still checking local suppliers of balance boards and would advise anyone who is importing or selling the boards to ensure they have proof that they have been tested and are up to European Safety standards.

“Parents should be reminded that it is illegal to use a balance board on the pavement or the road.”

Wigan’s trading standards team is also warning consumers to be careful when buying a balance board as a Christmas present and check they have full manufacturer’s details as well as clear instructions for use.

They should also be CE marked and have UK three pin plug, officers told the Evening Post.

If residents have already purchased a balance board, they are advised not to charge your product overnight or leave it unattended when it is charging, as there have been reported cases where the batteries have overheated and caught fire.

Parents have been further warned to be vigilant when buying Christmas toys after harmful levels of chemicals were found in some counterfeits as recently as this 
month.

Fake figures based on Disney’s Maleficent film were found to contain 18 times the legal limit of phthalates when they were seized by Warwickshire Trading Standards earlier this month.

The use of phthalates, which can disrupt hormones in children, is tightly restricted across Europe and toy manufacturers and products must contain no more than 0.1%.

The chemical, used to soften plastics, can lead to an increased risk of cancer, asthma and fertility problems in later life if ingested when a toy is chewed, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute warned.

Robert Chantry-Price, a lead officer for product safety at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said: “It is frightening to think that large quantities of phthalates are still being used in children’s toys, especially when it can cause such serious long-term consequences to a person’s health.

If residents have concerns about a balance board you have purchased or you are a retailer looking for safety advice, please contact Wigan Council Trading Standards via the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06