The Attorney-General’s Department has issued a warning to Queenslanders dusting off winter clothing, electric blankets and other products that have been stored over the warmer months to be aware they could pose a safety risk.
Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Stirling Hinchliffe said experience dictated that some products could create problems if they were old, worn or not used properly.
“As with any product, but particularly products that could cause scalds or burns, consumers should always follow the user guide or instructions carefully,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Electric blankets, hot water bottles, heat or wheat packs and children’s sleepwear are just some items used regularly in winter that can pose a risk.”
He said that each year more than 200 people in Australia are treated for serious burns caused while using hot water bottles.
“Always use hot tap water and not boiling water to fill your hot water bottle and replace the item as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“If using wheat bags or other heat packs, check that they come with clear heating instructions attached to the product and allow them to cool completely before reheating.”
He said that every winter there were multiple admissions to hospital emergency departments of children who had been burnt by their clothing catching fire.
“Even children’s clothing and sleepwear with a ‘low fire danger’ label is still flammable, so always keep children away from open heat sources, such as fireplaces and heaters,” the Minister said.
“Always check electric blankets for signs of wear and tear before use and seek advice about using one from your health practitioner if you are pregnant or have diabetes.”