FAMILIES are being warned to be wary of counterfeit Christmas toys in the run up to the festive season.
It's been revealed that customs officials have seized almost 2,000 toys and other items that may have posed safety risks to children.
Barbie doll clothing and Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine figures are among the 1,903 counterfeit items seized by Customs Officials in recent months.
The total of the goods seized has so far been valued at €37,410.
Experts are warning parents to be wary of being sold counterfeit toys -- many of which are dangerous and not subject to regulation.
Rogue dealers are expected to step up their activities from this month as shoppers hit the stores to buy Christmas presents.
Earlier this year 384 sets of Barbie Doll clothing with other items including cars.
Some 643 school bags were also found -- with the merchandise bearing popular trademarks such as Batman and Hello Kitty.
And in the past few weeks alone, a haul of 700 'Angry Bird' chairs was seized.
The National Consumer Agency (NCA) urges shoppers not to purchase any toys unless the items have the 'CE' quality mark.
"All toys must have the CE mark which shows that the product complies with the relevant safety standards," the agency said.
The Agency emphasised the importance of ensuring toys are fully safe before they are passed onto children.
According to EU data, 180,000 children require emergency medical treatment each year as a result of injuries linked to these products.
A recent EU-wide survey showed that the top 10 products that caused injury were: a swing or slide; a toy; changing table; tricycle; baby pram or buggy; high chair or booster seat; a cot, crib or baby bed; a baby walker; marbles or beads; and a tree house or playhouse.
Concerned consumers are advised to immediately refer to the retailer and report the purchase to the NCA on 1890 432432.