Baby products - NSW Fair Trading

July 2015
Baby products
Child safety
Childhood is an exciting time, but it can also be a
dangerous period. Sadly there are some 20,000 children
admitted to NSW hospitals each year because of injuries
they have suffered. Some injuries involve everyday
products most people take for granted as safe such
as cots, strollers, high chairs and baby walkers.
Choosing safe items and providing proper supervision
are crucial in ensuring the safety of children in your care.
only drowning risk in the home. It´s a sad fact, but young
children can drown in bathtubs, buckets, eskies, toilets,
spas, hot tubs and other containers of water.
Always observe the following water safety tips when
babies are in or near water:
Baby walkers and bouncinettes
There is growing concern about the dangers associated
with the use of baby walkers because they are involved
in a high number of injuries. Fair Trading consistently
reviews the sale of baby walkers and recommends they
not be used.
Most injuries are to the head and are suffered by children
less than 12 months of age. Baby walkers make children
mobile much earlier than normal and allow them to cross
a room in seconds. They can pull boiling kettles onto
themselves, reach open fires and heaters or fall down
stairs. It is vital children are closely supervised at all
times when they are in baby walkers.
Before you decide to buy a baby walker consider other
products which entertain babies but do not have wheels,
such as playpens. Only buy baby walkers that comply
with the mandatory product safety standard - US
Standard - Standard Consumer Safety Specifications for
infant walkers F977-00.
Buy a bouncinette that has waist and crotch straps and
keep it at floor level and under constant supervision to
prevent accidents. Children have fallen from high places
such as tables and bench tops, after being left
unattended in the bouncinette.
Baby bath seats and water safety
Children have drowned in the time it takes to step out of
the bathroom to get a towel or answer the telephone.
Every parent knows when it comes to playing in
swimming pools, young children need to be closely
supervised. Unfortunately, swimming pools are not the
Never leave a baby alone in the bath for any reason not even for a second. If you must leave for any
reason at all, take the baby with you.
A baby bath seat or support doesn´t make it all right
to leave. It is a bathing aid, not a safety device.
Babies can slip or climb out of the bath seats or
supports and drown.
Never use a baby bath seat or support in a non-skid,
slip-resistant tub because the suction cups won´t
stick to the bathtub, or they might detach suddenly.
Never leave a bucket containing even a small
amount of water unattended. When you´re finished
using a bucket, always empty it immediately.
Store buckets and eskies away from children.
Always secure safety covers and barriers to prevent
children from gaining access to spas or hot tubs
when not in use. Some non-rigid covers, like solar
covers, can allow a small child to slip in the water
with the cover appearing to still be in place.
Keep the toilet lid down to prevent access to the
water. Consider using a toilet clip to stop young
children from opening lids.
Learn CPR. It can be a lifesaver.
IMPORTANT - All baby bath seats and supports must
carry a warning notice reminding parents not to leave
their children unattended in a bath. The warning is
attached to the goods to remind parents and carers that
these goods have been implicated in drownings. Read
the warning and take notice of the message. It is
NEVER okay to leave a baby in the bath for ANY
reason without the supervision of a responsible person.
Report to Fair Trading if you see a bath support for sale
that does not have this warning.
Baby slings
Babies have suffocated while in slings. They are at risk if
placed incorrectly because babies do not have the
July 2015
physical capacity to move out of dangerous positions that
block their airways.
Two positions that present significant danger are:
1. lying with a curved back, with the chin resting on the
2. lying with the face pressed against the fabric of the
sling or the wearer´s body.
Never use slings that place the baby in `foetal position´
with a curved back. A foetus doesn´t need a straight back
to breathe, but a baby does.
When using a sling, put the baby in an upright position
with a straight, flat back and check that their head is
supported. Pay close attention to the baby and ensure
their chin is always up and away from their body. Any
pressure on the chin can close the airway. Ensure you
can see the baby´s face at all times and that the face
remains uncovered by the sling or your body.
Remember - slings are not hands-free devices. You must
always hold the baby with at least one arm.
14kg to 26kg
Type: Booster seat. Children outgrow the booster seat
when they outgrow their weight range or when their eyes
are level with the top of the seat back or head rest when
seated on the booster.
14kg to 32kg
Type: Child safety harness.
All car restraints for children must comply with Australian
Standard AS/NZS 1754.
IMPORTANT - Do not buy or use a second-hand child
restraint if it has been involved in an accident or shows
signs of wear such as cracks, frayed straps or broken
Babies spend a lot of time in their cots so it´s important
their cots are safe. Most cot injuries are due to falls from
the cot. Deaths have occurred when infants have fallen
through or been caught in gaps found sometimes in old
For more details and to view a short video on how to
position your baby in a sling, visit the Queensland Office
of Fair Trading baby slings page.
Car restraints
New national car restraints laws introduced in 2010 now
require all children up to seven years of age must now be
fastened into the right restraint for their age and size.
Always follow the manufacturer´s installation instructions.
In NSW there are Authorised Safety Restraint Fitting
Stations that can inspect and fit a child car restraint.
Contact the RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority) on 13 22
13 for more information.
Here is a guide to which type of child car restraint you
should use:
Some things to consider include:
Up to 9kg (or 70cm in length)
Type: Infant restraint rearward facing.
8kg to 18kg
Type: Child seat forward facing.
look for cots that are manufactured to the Australian
standard AS/NZS 2172:2003
always make sure the mattress fits snugly to within
20mm at the sides and the end
ensure a minimum distance of 500mm is maintained
between the top of the mattress and the top of the
cot sides
make sure there are no horizontal bars or
decorations which could be used to climb out of the
make sure there are no protrusions which clothing
can be caught on
remove climbing aids such as large toys, cot
bumpers and cushions from the cot. These can help
the child climb out.
do not allow small objects that could cause your child
to choke to be placed in the cot or anywhere
accessible to the child
the distance between the bars of the cot should be at
least 5cm wide and no more than 9.5cm wide.
July 2015
High chairs
Injuries involving high chairs are mainly due to falls and
account for 25 per cent of nursery furniture accidents.
Note the following safety tips when purchasing or using a
high chair:
for maximum safety, choose a high chair fitted with a
suitable harness system
● check that folding high chairs cannot collapse
accidentally during use
● before you purchase a table mounted high chair
make sure your table is able to support it. Make
sure the slip-resistant mounting devices are in good
● never leave your child unattended in a high chair and
always ensure they are properly restrained using the
safety straps.
Strollers and prams are involved in a significant number
of childhood injuries caused by the child falling from the
stroller/pram or the stroller/pram tipping backwards. The
mandatory standard for prams and strollers includes the
requirement for them to meet certain requirements in
Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2088:2000. It
requires prams and strollers sold in Australia to comply
with provisions for:
safety restraints
tether straps
safety labelling
testing procedures.
always use the tether strap when the parking brake
is not engaged
● always engage the braking system as soon as you
stop pushing the stroller and before you take your
hand off the stroller, particularly when using all terrain
type strollers or 3 wheeler prams.
Portable cots and playpens
Portable cots and playpens can be useful, but if
assembled incorrectly they may collapse whilst a child is
in them. Always ensure all locking devices are secure
and working correctly when the item is assembled and
that your child cannot release them and collapse the cot
or playpen. Manufacturers are required to place a
warning label on the cot regarding assembly and locking
Folding cots are required to meet certain requirements in
Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2195:1999.
Regularly check for tears in the fabric as a teething child
can chew off pieces and choke. Remove all toys from the
cot when the child is sleeping.
Only use the mattress supplied by the manufacturer.
IMPORTANT - Do not put additional pillows or
mattresses in a portable cot as small children can
easily become wedged between the mattresses and
may suffocate.
Do not use a portable cot if your child weighs more than
Nursery furniture
To help ensure the safety of your child whilst using a
stroller/pram, follow these safety tips:
Always ask if the furniture is made according to
Australian/New Zealand design standards.
ensure your child is properly restrained in a harness
do not overload the stroller/pram or hang heavy bags
from the handle
● ensure you remove your child from the pram/stroller
before adjusting it as your child's small fingers may
get caught in the folding mechanism
● do not leave children unattended in strollers/prams
as they could try to climb out
Some things to consider include:
look for furniture that is free of rough surfaces, sharp
edges, points and projections
● make sure furniture is sturdily constructed so it will
not collapse under a baby´s weight
July 2015
test locking devices - they should function properly
look for hazards where it is easy for small fingers and
limbs to get caught in gaps. Also places where the
head and upper body can get caught and
cause death by asphyxiation. Fingers can get caught
in holes or openings between 5-12mm; arms and
legs in gaps between 30-50mm and heads in
gaps between 95-120mm.
For more information go to
Fair Trading enquiries 13 32 20
TTY 1300 723 404
Language assistance 13 14 50
This fact sheet must not be relied on as
legal advice. For more information about
this topic, refer to the appropriate
© State of New South Wales through NSW Fair Trading
You may freely copy, distribute, display or download this information with some important
restrictions. See NSW Fair Trading's copyright policy at or email
Download PDF