26 September 2023

ACCC invites feedback for sleeping babies

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is proposing a range of regulatory options to prevent infant injuries and deaths caused by products commonly used to place babies to sleep.

Releasing the Infant Sleep Products consultation paper, Deputy Chair of the ACCC, Delia Rickard said the Commission was calling for feedback on the most effective strategies to address risks associated with infant sleep products, before it made a final recommendation to Government.

“Tragically, since 2001, about two infant deaths in Australia per year have been associated with inclined sleep products such as rockers and bouncers marketed for sleep, while the death of around one child per year has been connected to other infant sleep products such as cots, inflatable beds and mattresses,” Ms Rickard said.

“Sleeping babies are often placed on inclined sleep products such as bouncers and rockers by parents and carers who are totally unaware of the significant suffocation risks,” she said.

“The Consultation Paper asks stakeholders to consider a range of regulatory options, including whether products marketed for sleep with an incline angle greater than seven degrees should be permanently banned and whether an infant sleep standard should be introduced under Australian Consumer Law.”

Ms Rickard said the ACCC understood that certain design features of some sleep products (such as their curvature, rigidity and the breathability of certain types of materials) may also be dangerous for infants.

She said holistic mandatory safety and information standards for all infant sleep products were an option that the ACCC was seeking feedback on.

“We are also consulting on proposed options to update existing mandatory safety standards for standard and folding cots and improve consumer education,” the Deputy Chair said.

The ACCC’s 35-page Consultation Paper can be accessed at this PS News link.

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