Button battery toy withdrawn from sale by Spotlight (Rainbow Light Wand)
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Major national retailer Spotlight has removed a toy powered by button batteries from its shelves after Consumer Protection expressed safety concerns.
Product safety officers at Consumer Protection found the toy, Rainbow Light Wand, broke open easily when dropped. This exposed the button batteries in the toy which poses a danger for young children if swallowed.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe praised the quick action of Spotlight.
“When our concerns were brought to the retailer’s attention, they acted quickly to remove the items from sale which is highly commendable,” Mr Newcombe said.
“Our concern is that there may still be many of these toys in the community and we want parents in particular to be aware of the danger as they could result in serious injury, permanent disability or even death.
“We are advised that there will be a recall of this product. In the meantime, we advise parents who may have purchased this toy for their children to discontinue its use and safely dispose of it by wrapping up the batteries and putting them in a bin that cannot be accessed by children.
“Battery-operated toys should have secured covers which prevent a child being able to access the battery.
“Button batteries, especially the larger coin sized ones, if swallowed can get stuck in a child's throat and burn through the oesophagus in as little as two hours. Children under five years old are at the greatest risk.
“In Australia, an estimated 20 children per week present to an emergency department suspected of swallowing a button battery.
“If anyone sees button-battery powered toys without a secure compartment, please report it to Consumer Protection immediately.”
Follow these tips to help prevent a child from becoming a statistic:
- Keep loose coin-sized button batteries (new or old), or devices which contain them out of reach of children.
- Check battery compartments on toys are secure and supervise children playing with battery-operated toys.
- Dispose of used batteries immediately – even flat batteries can be dangerous.
- If a child swallows a button battery do not let them eat or drink, do not make them vomit and seek immediate medical attention – a burn can occur in just two hours.
- As well as attending hospital or seeing an emergency doctor, you can speak to The Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for additional treatment information.
Consumer Protection is encouraging parents and carers of babies and young children to complete a button battery awareness survey run by the Queensland University of Technology: https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/184509/3623/
The purpose of the survey is to understand the level of awareness regarding safety issues relating to button batteries and products that contain them. The survey is open until Friday 16 October and takes 10-15 minutes to complete.
Further information on product safety is available at www.productsafety.gov.au. Report battery-operated toys with unsecured covers, or any product you think might be unsafe, to Consumer Protection by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
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