It's important to purchase the right products for your baby — and to make sure they're safe. Here's what to look out for and what to avoid.
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Our Australian sister organisation, Choice, conducted this test as part of a campaign to get the government to tighten the law around the sale of button batteries.
Button batteries are coin-sized batteries common in a wide variety of devices including remote controls, singing Christmas cards, bathroom scales and car keys. When these batteries come in contact with bodily fluids an electric current is created. This leads to the production of hydroxide which is caustic and in turn this can result in tissue necrosis, serious throat damage (such as permanent loss of voice) or in extreme cases has proven fatal.
Trading Standards (as part of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) is engaged in an international collaboration, with the US, Australia, Japan and Korea, which is looking at possible longer term options to address the risks.
Because babies in walkers are much more mobile, and can move faster than a parent often expects, they can get into dangerous situations. Most injuries associated with baby walkers are caused by falls down steps, scalds, burns and poisonings from household chemicals.
Some parents believe a baby walker will help a child learn to walk. Safekids, the national child-injury prevention service, says babies don’t need baby walkers: “Time on their tummies rolling, crawling and stretching on the floor is what babies need for development."
You shouldn’t put your child in a baby walker.
There needs to be more information about the risks of baby walkers and the safety requirements. Some suppliers aren’t even aware there is a mandatory standard.
The nationwide chain Farmers has a policy of not selling baby walkers. We’d like to see other retailers following its example.