26 September 2023

Children’s safety an ACCC priority

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Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Catriona Lowe has said that products affecting young children’s safety and infant sleep were among the Commission’s current priorities.

Speaking at the National Consumer Congress in Melbourne, Ms Lowe said consumers expected the products they purchased to be safe, and the ACCC’s priorities were critical to minimise any risks involved.

“Addressing issues for young children, who are among the most vulnerable consumers, is our highest product safety priority,” Ms Lowe said.

“This broad body of work will involve continuing compliance, enforcement and education initiatives with a focus on toys for children under three, products containing button batteries and toppling furniture.”

Ms Lowe also announced that the ACCC would be implementing strategies to prevent injuries and deaths associated with infant sleep products, including incline sleepers, bassinets and cots, bouncers and sleep aids.

“We’ll be conducting investigations into sleep products of highest concern and will take enforcement action where appropriate,” Ms Lowe said.

“An education campaign on infant incline products, including inclined sleepers and rockers, will help consumers and industry become more aware of the safety risks associated with these products.”

She said a new priority area for the ACCC was sustainability and maintaining product safety — this reflected the changing behaviour of consumers as they strove to be more environmentally conscious and make sustainable purchases.

“We will take action to support consumer confidence in the safety of sustainable products that are helping to underpin Australia’s transition to net zero and a circular economy,” Ms Lowe said.

“Over the next 12 months, we’ll develop best practices to reduce safety risks from reused or second-hand goods that are sold online and update recall guidelines to cover the circular economy.”

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