Parents Warned About Buying Unsafe Child Car Restraints Online

Parents are being warned not to purchase a type of child car restraint being sold online that appears to breach Australia’s mandatory safety standards, said Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury.

The products, sold through some online retailers, are marketed under various names, including ‘Baby Car Seat Pouch’, ‘Portable belt baby car safety seat for 1-5 years old’ and ‘Portable baby car safety seat for 20-40 lbs’, pose potential safety hazards and are likely to fail to protect children adequately in an accident.

An official consumer safety warning notice has been issued and can be found at www.productsafety.gov.au.

“Parents are warned against buying these unsafe children’s car restraints and should stop using them immediately if they have already purchased them,” said Mr Bradbury.

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) discovered these unsafe restraints on some online retailing sites and has already worked with a number of these retailers to have them removed from sale to the Australian region.

“While suppliers claim the products are safe for use as baby car seats, the products do not appear to have been supplied with an upper tether strap and a minimum five point harness system, as required by the mandatory standard for child restraint systems for use in motor vehicles.

“The restraints look to be made only of padded material and do not appear to provide any side impact protection. They are also marketed to be used in the front seat of a vehicle, which is contrary to Australian road rules.

“A mandatory safety standard applies to vehicle child restraints. Anyone selling these child restraints in Australia must ensure they meet the standard.

“The ACCC is continuing its investigation as to the potential safety hazards associated with these products.

“While some consumers may prefer shopping online to access lower prices and greater product diversity, I would encourage people to remain vigilant about product safety when buying products online, particularly when buying products for use by children.”

If you are using these products, you should cease using them immediately and contact the ACCC via www.productsafety.gov.au or 1300 302 502.

The ACCC’s Keeping baby safe booklet, includes information on hazards and safety tips for child restraints. The booklet and videos are available online at www.productsafety.gov.au/keepingbabysafe.

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