Parents demand Canberra act on unsafe products

A nursing chair and a baby's cot in a nursery

An analysis of CHOICE test data has found key products designed for children still pose a risk as doctors, industry, experts and parents converged on Canberra on Wednesday to demand action.

The data shows:

  • Portable cots (60 tested from 2011–2018*): 98% or 59 failed.
  • Strollers (163 tested from 2012–2019): 83% or 136 failed.
  • Cots (173 tested from 2012–2019): 59% or 102 failed.
    *Most recent test conducted

CHOICE also warns that inaction on button batteries is a sleeper issue with an investigation earlier this year finding 10 out of 17 button battery powered household items were dangerous.[1]

“The Australian government should make it illegal to sell unsafe products. New safety laws would see companies face large fines for flooding the Australian market with unsafe junk. ” says CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland.

“We need stronger laws to curb the risks associated with unsecured button batteries and other products that we already know are unsafe but are still being sold.” 

Joining product safety campaigners in Canberra are parents Andrea Shoesmith and Allison Rees who have both lost children to button batteries and will be sharing their stories with parliamentarians. CHOICE will also be joined by representatives from the Australasian Furnishing Association and the medical sector.

“Businesses should be legally required to take reasonable steps to make sure the products they sell are safe. It’s really that simple. Without this reform, people will continue to be hurt and even killed by dangerous products like button battery powered devices. It’s essential that parliament be forced to take this problem seriously and legislate a solution.”

“Two children have died in Australia after ingesting button batteries and there have been at least 17 cases of children being seriously injured in Australia since December 2017.[2] The batteries are shiny, smooth and easy to swallow and there can be little indication anything is wrong until it is too late.”

Over 25,000 Australians have joined CHOICE’s campaign asking for the Federal Government to act:

Media contact: Jonathan Brown, CHOICE Media 0430 172 669

[1] APSU National surveillance Unit, stats from Dr Ruth Barker

[2] ibid