Unsafe Christmas products withdrawn
Flashing reindeer noses were among eight items withdrawn from sale after being found to be unsafe during a pre-Christmas product safety inspection program by Consumer Protection.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the items all had button batteries that could easily come loose and pose a danger to young children.
"Suppliers and retailers who sell toys and novelty items that contain button batteries must ensure that they are securely sealed and pass a 'drop test'," Mr Mischin said.
"Product safety officers from Consumer Protection visited retailers in the Perth metropolitan area in the past few weeks, as part of their annual campaign to ensure Christmas gifts are safe.
"The eight unsafe products found during this year's pre-Christmas safety checks include flashing reindeer noses and antlers, gift bows, necklaces and baubles that change colour.
"When Consumer Protection's concerns about the button battery-powered products were brought to the attention of retailers, store managers acted quickly to remove the items from sale voluntarily, which is highly commendable.
"Button batteries that easily come loose can be swallowed by a baby or young child, putting their lives in danger. The battery can lodge in the child's throat or digestive system and begin burning after two hours.
"There have been deaths and serious injuries reported over recent years as well as many close calls, with 20 admissions to hospital emergency departments in Australia every week on average."
- Keep loose coin-sized button batteries (new or old/flat) and devices which contain them (remote controls, garage door clickers etc.) out of reach of children
- Check battery compartments are secure and supervise children playing with battery-operated toys
- Dispose of used batteries immediately and safely (safe disposal means wrapping up the batteries and putting them in a bin that cannot be accessed by children).
Information on button battery safety is available at http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/batterycontrolled
Consumers with concerns about button battery-powered products, such as those with unsecured battery compartments, should report details to Consumer Protection as soon as possible by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 30 40 54
Minister's office - 6552 5600
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