• Germany's news in English

Holidaymakers warned of blow-up death traps

The Local · 16 Jul 2013, 16:42

Published: 16 Jul 2013 16:42 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Many parents wouldn't think twice about grabbing an inflatable toy in a shop along the beach front or on the way to the pool for their kids to play with in the water - it's all part of a holiday.

But many of these toys could be blow-up death traps, the TÜV Rhineland branch said on Tuesday, and urged parents be very careful when buying blow-up toys from discount souvenir shops.

Many toys present an "imminent danger of drowning" the Cologne-based safety said. It tested a range of water toys and baby swim seats bought in popular holiday destinations across Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Of the 50 bathing toys tested - including blow-up animals and inflatable mattresses all bought for under €10 in souvenir and beach shops - 20 did not meet the EU's most basic safety standards and should be immediately taken off the shelves, said the organisation.

Testers also found six highly dangerous swim seats for babies and small children – which could easily either allow children to fall out or capsize.

The devices give parents a false sense of security, said TÜV expert Christiane Reckter, but they posed serious danger of death for infants. "That's why these kind of seats [should be] absolutely forbidden."

The testers also found that small parts such as valve-stoppers on which kids could choke were also very easy to remove from blow-up animals. A further six toys contained illegal levels of various dangerous chemicals such as carcinogenic plasticizers.

This is the fourth such test by the TÜV, which registered "a slightly positive trend" in the market - in 2009, over 60 percent of the tested articles failed to meet safety standards. But, said the organisation, there are still many very dangerous products on sale.

The organisation said parents must read all safety advice carefully and only buy inflatables at chain stores with quality assurances.

Story continues below…

The safest swimming and flotation devices were not made to look like bright toys anyway, said the organisation, and warned parents against ever buying a toy which smelled very strongly of unpleasant chemicals.

DPA/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd