Hong Kong Customs has warned members of the public about potential hazards posed by six models of toy scooters. A Consumer Council inspection also found that over half of the 15 children’s scooters it tested did not fully comply with European toy safety standards.

“Test results indicated that the products could pose a risk of hand entrapment and falling down to users. The plastic packing bags might also pose a risk of suffocation,” a press release from the government said. 

The steering tubes and platforms of some models also broke during strength testing conducted by the Consumer Council.

Photo: Consumer Council.

“The Council is deeply concerned about the carrying capacity and strength of children scooters as any breakage or collapse to the steering tube and platform could lead to young children losing balance and falling overboard resulting in injury,” it said.

The Council also found that a material containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) was used for handle grips in the majority of models tested. Ten of them exceeded the limits set by a voluntary German product certification, meaning they pose a risk of skin irritation which could result in dermatitis, a condition associated with itchy rashes.

It was also concerned about the gap between the body and the wheels in 5 models, which could hurt a child’s fingers.

Customs warned of the potential hazards caused by these scooter models. Photo: GovHK.

The government said it had served prohibition notices to the retailers and distributor supplying the scooters. Customs suggested that “parents read the warning labels and operation manuals of the scooters, and provide supervision to ensure children’s safety in the course of using the scooters.”

The Consumer Council urged parents to also follow instructions on recommended age of usage and the scooter’s carrying capacity, and to make sure children are using suitable protective gear. It added that parents should guide children in using their scooters in low-traffic areas with even road surfaces, and teach children to wash their hands immediately after riding to prevent the absorption of PAHs or heavy metals.

Catherine Lai

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.