New testing has revealed more than two-thirds of portable cots, including some leading brands, pose a ‘safety risk’ to babies, according to consumer advocacy group CHOICE.
CHOICE says its latest testing shows that cots from Kmart, Phil & Teds, Target and Baby Bunting failed to meet key safety standards. Most of the failures relate to soft or poorly fitting mattresses, which can increase the risk of sudden unexpected infant death.
“In our expert labs, we regularly test a selection of portable cots currently available on the Australian market,” said CHOICE testing expert Kim Gilmour.
“Our latest batch of reviews shows that almost 70% of these products fail key safety requirements, which is a really disappointing result. Unfortunately, this is something we are used to seeing with this particular baby product.”
Portable cots, or portacots are a convenient, portable sleeping option for babies. But CHOICE is warning parents to exercise caution when purchasing one.
“We assess all models in our labs against the most current Australian safety standard for portable cots. But there are still many models failing to even meet the minimum mandatory requirements, such as mattress firmness.”
How the portacots were tested
CHOICE gave the portacots an overall score out of 100, once they tested them to Australian Standards. The result is a CHOICE Expert Rating which includes performance and how easy the portacot is to use.
The performance score rates safety factors including:
- Whether it has breathable zones on all four sides
- That it’s sturdy and stable
- That there are no other factors that could cause a child injury, such as sharp protruding objects, or entrapment or strangulation hazards.
CHOICE says the current mandatory standards for portacots and strollers are based on documents that are almost 20 years old. And while newer standards were written for portacots in 2010, they aren’t law, but rather voluntary standards.
The portable cots that failed CHOICE safety tests:
- Aeromoov Instant Travel Cot ($399)
- Baby Bunting 4Baby Liteway Travel Cot EA11816 ($149)
- Baby Bunting 4Baby Clouds 2 in 1 Portacot EA12117 ($99)
- Baby Bunting 4Baby Vacation Portacot EA12116 ($49)
- Babyhood Uno 2 in 1 Portacot ($449)
- Chicco Lullaby Easy Portacot ($500)
- Childcare Matisse 4 in 1 Travel Cot ($180)
- Joie Excursion Change & Rock Travel Cot ($329)
- Kmart Anko Travel Portacot 42-001-409 ($49)
- Kmart Anko 3 in 1 Portacot 42723370 ($95)
- Love N Care Playland Travel Cot ($150)
- Phil & Teds Traveller 2021 TR-V5-5/100 ($450)
- Star Kidz Amico Super Light Travel Cot ($249)
- Star Kidz Vivo Super Light Travel Cot ($399)
- Target Adventure V2 3 in 1 Portacot BRT022A1 ($99)
- Target Holiday Portacot BRT023A ($55)
- Vee Bee Amado Travel & Play Cot N9560 ($199)
- Vee Bee The Sierra N9338 ($239)
CHOICE said in response to the results, manufacturers from Baby Bunting (4Baby), Kmart and Star Kidz disagreed with the results, showing the advocacy group reports from other third-party labs, indicating their products pass safety standards. CHOICE, which also operates its own in-house accredited lab, says it stands by its results.
In response to the findings, Kmart said, “We are disappointed to see CHOICE indicate a fail to mattress firmness, particularly with Kmart testing to the same standard and by an accredited laboratory showing compliance. We are confident that the mattress supplied with the folding cot is firm and that it complies with AS/NZS 8811.1.”We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.