Contact Consumer Protection
Tel: 1300 30 40 54
See all Consumer Protection office locations
As the weather warms up our thoughts often turn to planning for holidays and fun festive celebrations, but it’s important to remember that common items used at this time of year can be hazardous.
Water awareness is an obvious issue that springs to mind in summer but consumers also need to be aware of product safety when buying gifts.
Consumer protection regulators throughout the country have launched a Safe Summer campaign which will run from 10 to 21 December 2018 to highlight possible dangers.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said it is important we all ensure the gifts we choose are age appropriate and safe.
“Button batteries in items such as toys and remote controls can be a risk if not properly secured and some toys may pose a choking hazard for younger children,” Mr Hillyard said.
“If swallowed by a young child, button batteries can become stuck and then burn through soft tissue in the oesophagus in just two hours.
“So make sure the gifts you’re planning on giving are age appropriate and have secure compartments if they contain button batteries.
“Always read warning labels and follow all safety instructions.”
This also applies to ever-popular trampolines, with hundreds of Australian children taken to hospital each year for injuries such as cuts, sprains and fractures.
While parents and carers may initially focus on the tricky job of putting the trampolines together for the big reveal on Christmas Day, it is also vital to make sure you supervise trampoline use and only allow one child to use it at a time.
Mr Hillyard said supervising children when they are in and near water is vital.
“Young children are at risk when portable pools aren’t emptied between uses or larger above and below ground pools aren't appropriately fenced,” he said.
“Kids can die or be left with a permanent brain injury from drowning even in a small portable pool that contains very little water.
“Never leave babies or children unsupervised in any water and remember that baby bath aids or pool toys are not safety devices.”
Some consumers may not be aware that fencing laws in Western Australia apply to pools containing water more than 30cm deep which includes portable pools.
It’s also important to check for toppling furniture hazards when visiting relatives or staying in holiday accommodation, plus blind and curtain cords can pose a strangulation hazard for children.
Adults also need to stop and think about their own safety too – the end of year clean-up can lead to injuries if ladders aren’t properly secured.
“So whether inside or outside, shopping or making handcrafted gifts, it is important to keep safety issues in mind,” Mr Hillyard said.
“It is possible to have plenty of holiday fun while also staying safe.”
For more detailed safety tips about button batteries, toppling furniture, pools, blind and curtain cords visit www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au and for information on product safety or recalls go to www.productsafety.gov.au/safesummer.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / email@example.com