Float aids have become more and more popular since the opening of baby “day spa” services across the globe. But are they safe?
In Australia ‘Baby Spa Perth’ is even offering massage and hydrotherapy services for babies that are 6 months old or younger.
Be aware of the dangers
The problem with the growing need for the service is that some manufacturers and sellers will take advantage of this need and try to recreate similar ‘cheaper’ products so parents can hold their own baby day spas at home. These products are actually very unsafe though!
A recall has been issued for baby neck floats sold by eBay Trader xianan121280.
The ACCC are warning people of the increased risk of drowning if the product isn’t used correctly or deflates during use.
The product does not comply with Consumer Protection Notice No. 3 of 2009 – Consumer Product Safety Standard: Swimming Aids and Flotation Aids for Water Familiarisation and Swimming Tuition for quality, labelling or user instruction requirements.
Banned in Australia
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said it was crucial parents chose safe water toys and floatation devices for their children, and closely supervised kids in and around water at all times.
“Baby neck floats were originally designed as medical aids for children with disability, but have recently
proliferated as more recreational items,” Mr Bauer said.
“Unless baby neck floats are medically prescribed and professionally fitted, they can be very dangerous.
“If the float is too wide, the baby’s mouth and nose can become obstructed. If the float is too loose, the baby could slip through altogether. If the float is too tight, breathing may become laboured or the carotid artery compressed.
“There are also concerns around stability and the potential for the baby to tip over, particularly if other children are in the water creating an uneven surface.
“If, as a parent, you do choose to purchase a baby neck float, it is strongly recommended you buy one that complies with the mandatory standard, comes with comprehensive instructions on safe use, and follow those instructions closely.
OFT strongly recommends baby neck floats only be used in highly controlled and supervised settings.
“The OFT will continue to monitor the marketplace and ensure suppliers take recall action if products that fail mandatory safety standards are sold,” Mr Bauer said.
The two baby neck floats that failed to meet mandatory safety standards were sold by:
eBay trader “livingspace888″
eBay trader “xianan121280″
Any consumer who purchased a baby neck float from either trader should return the product for a refund.
Consumers can report baby neck floats being sold by Queensland businesses to the OFT by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Please be careful when purchasing items online as they quite often do not meet Australian standards.
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