26 September 2023

Baby sleep products raise eyes at safety

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reviewed the safety of inclined infant sleeping products and is now seeking feedback on its findings.

Deputy Chair of the ACCC, Delia Rickard said infants could suffocate when sleeping in infant-inclined products such as bouncers, rockers, swings, loungers, bassinet-type products, wedges, recliners and sleep accessories due to the incline, curvature of the backrest and soft sleeping surface.

“Baby bouncers, rockers and recliners can be potentially deadly for infants and the public health advice remains for infants to sleep on a flat, firm surface without pillows or bumpers,” Ms Rickard said.

“We are looking for feedback about these products to address the risks of injury and death.”

She said that in the United States, 73 infants died from incidents in infant-inclined products between January 2005 and June 2019.

“There have been no fatalities in Australia that are reported to be directly attributed to infant-inclined products,” Ms Rickard said.

She said, however, since 2019, two products linked to deaths overseas had been voluntarily recalled in Australia: The Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper and Kids II Rocking Sleeper.

“We are urging parents and carers to check if they have any of these products and to stop using them,” Ms Rickard said.

“You should contact the manufacturers directly to seek a refund.

“Often, baby products are handed down to family or friends when a child outgrows them.

“Make sure you do not unknowingly pass on a dangerous product.”

Ms Rickard said the ACCC had published the Infant Inclined Products

Issues Paper with options to address the hazards of inclined sleeping products and was seeking feedback from stakeholders, including consumer representatives, medical professionals, manufacturers and retailers of infant-inclined products.

“There are currently no mandatory or voluntary standards in Australia that specifically apply to infant-inclined products and the issues paper outlines a range of options for stakeholders to contribute feedback,” she said.

Ms Rickard said these included mandatory safety and information standards, bans, consumer education and improved on-product warnings.

The ACCC’s 20-page Issues Paper, including information on how to make a contribution, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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