Most electric lanterns sold for the Mid-Autumn Festival could pose a danger to children due to poor labelling, the Customs and Excise Department warned yesterday. The lanterns carry no labels or instructions about what kind of batteries they require. Eight of the 14 lanterns failed the government safety requirement - a label on safe battery use and indicating how to position the positive and negative ends of the battery. The lanterns that failed the test included ones featuring cartoon characters Doraemon and Spider-man. They cost between $40 and $70. Mixing old and new batteries could cause chemicals to leak from the old battery and damage the skin of children or other users, said Ng Hing-tong, acting deputy head of the Consumer Protection and Prosecution Bureau of the Customs and Excise Department. Using a battery of the wrong voltage could cause the lantern to overheat, burning a child. One plastic lantern in the shape of a cat raised further concerns that it could cut children if dropped. When tested in the government's 'drop test', a screw came loose, causing sharp particles to fall out. Mr Ng said the department had to further look into the issue before deciding whether it was necessary to pull this type of lantern off the market. This year's survey results were better than last year's. 'There were more failures in last year's tests, so the situation has obviously improved,' Mr Ng said. Of the 10 lanterns tested last year, nine did not have manufacturer's identification labels or battery labels. Authorities advise the following precautions to protect children: Don't let children under three use battery-operated toy lanterns and light sticks unsupervised and don't let them put musical toys close to their ears. Put adhesive tape over toys' speakers to cut the noise level. Don't bend light sticks after activation and dispose of immediately after use. If they leak on to skin, rinse thoroughly with water and seek medical advice.