The ACCC has begun a safety review of products designed for infants such as bouncers, rockers and inclined sleep products.
The market review will be on inclined baby products used for sleeping, where the baby’s head and back are inclined, and may include a harness or belt to secure the baby into the product.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that at least 74 infant fatalities have occurred in the United States while using bouncers, rockers and recliners.
Of these fatalities, more than 30 occurred in the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper and five in the Kids II Rocking Sleeper, usually after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side, and suffocated. The ACCC advises all Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper and the Kids II Rocking Sleeper models sold in Australia have been voluntarily recalled and there have been no reports of injuries or death.
The ACCC’s market review will include a wide range of products including bouncers, rockers, swings, loungers, bassinet-type products, wedges, recliners and inclined sleep accessories, some which claim to be safe and suitable for sleeping.
“We’re focusing on these sorts of products because of recent recalls and increasing concerns regarding the use of infant inclined products,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“We are going to take a thorough look at the types of infant inclined products available in Australia and assess the potential risks associated with their use for sleeping or, even in some cases, playing.”
The market review will also include a review of scientific literature, scoping of available incident data, consideration of international regulation and changes, as well as engagement with industry, health experts and international product safety regulators as required.
“One of the ACCC’s Product Safety Priorities for 2019 is to help prevent injuries and deaths to infants caused by unsafe sleeping products,” Ms Rickard said.
“The ACCC urges parents and caregivers to follow expert advice about safe sleep practices – both night and day, place babies to sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface without pillows, bumpers or other items in the sleep environment and with bedding tucked in securely or alternatively place baby in a safe baby sleeping bag.”
Further information on the Australian recalls is available on the Product Safety Australia website at www.productsafety.gov.au.
Advice to consumers
If you own any type of infant inclined product:
- never leave your baby unsupervised in the product
- stop using the product when your baby begins to roll
- carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of the product
- put the product on a flat floor surface, away from potential hazards.
Advice to suppliers (manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers)
- provide adequate warnings and instructions to consumers describing safe use and potential risks associated with these products
- review infant inclined product lines to ensure they are safe for use, including assessing whether these products could be foreseeably misused by consumers and result in an increased risk of death or serious injury.