Commissioner's blog: Stay safe this summer
As the weather warms up, our thoughts are likely turning to summer holidays and the festive season, however it’s important that consumers research their purchases to make sure they are safe and fit for purpose.
Faulty products continue to cause serious injury and harm to thousands of Australians every year – in 2017-18, more than 4.5 million faulty or unsafe items were recalled by suppliers.
To protect your home against fire risks at Christmas, choose less hazardous options for decorations, use low-voltage lights and keep flammable items away from the tree.
Consumers should also check to see all decorations meet Australian Standards, cords are not frayed or exposed, and power sockets are not overloaded.
While Christmas shopping, families should be on the lookout for button batteries or small magnets in children’s toys, as both are dangerous and potentially deadly when swallowed. If you have any doubts about a product, it’s always a good idea to check whether there has been a product recall.
Aside from festivities, there are a number of risks around the yard, pools and water that can quickly turn dangerous if used without proper supervision.
Hundreds of Australian children attend hospitals across the country for trampoline-related injuries including cuts, sprains and fractures. Before use, adults should check the condition of the trampoline and padding and ensure the surrounds are clear of hazards.
Pool users should only use aquatic toys and flotation devices under supervision, as children who cannot swim may drown if the toy fails, or isn’t used properly. Children injured while playing with a toy in the water are also at greater risk of drowning.
Swimming pools are the leading location for drowning in children under the age of 15, so it is important to make sure that your pool gates and locks are in working order.
And check your lifejackets are up to date with your local marine safety agency requirements and wear them when out on your watercraft - every year lives are lost and many deaths could have been prevented by wearing a lifejacket.
For more information on consumer protections around summer activities, visit: www.productsafety.gov.au/safesummer
Commissioner for Consumer Protection