Check on baby products urged

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has urged parents to carry out quick safety checks on newly purchased baby products, following a string of recalled goods.

Eight baby products have been pulled from Australian shelves since the start of December.

Three of the products were toys with loose parts that presented a choking hazard.

Other examples of detected safety breaches included:

•Babies limbs were in danger of being trapped in a cot that did not comply with mandatory standards regulating space between bars and panels.

•Hairline fractures detected in a range of pacifiers posed a choking hazard.

•Faulty harness buckles and lock nuts on a swing and slide fractured and broke in testing.

•A make-your-own slingshot kit capable of firing projectiles at high speed was available for sale nationally at major and independent retailers, boutiques and pharmacies, despite being banned in a number of states.

•A lamp from a range available for purchase for about 14 years was involved in a strangulation incident because it was mounted above a cot where the cord was accessible to the child.

A spokeswoman for the consumer watchdog said parents should be vigilant against poorly- made products that could cause injury or death.

"Parents often purchase a lot of new consumer goods specifically for use during the holiday season," the spokeswoman said.

"It's important that parents select merchandise that complies with mandatory safety standards and is appropriate for the age, size and weight of babies and infants."

Shoppers flooded Launceston stores yesterday in search of bargains; many were focused on snapping up discounted baby products.

The ACCC spokeswoman said parents needed to remain vigilant against unsafe or unfit products among the Christmas time big- sellers after the holiday shopping rush had died down.

"It's always a good idea to carry out a quick safety check on certain new products after they've been subjected to a little wear and tear," the spokeswoman said.

"Parents should check that toys are proving to be robust and won't produce small parts that could choke a child, and that seams on plush toys are intact.

"Babies and infants are among the most vulnerable consumers facing hazards from goods on a daily basis," the spokeswoman said.

"This underscores the importance of ensuring that infant products comply with safety standards."

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