In a recent survey conducted by Safe Start Australia, we asked our community “Have you felt overwhelmed with the choice of infant products on the market”?
It was a resounding YES with 100% of people answering that they had felt overwhelmed with the choice of infant products on the market.
I have also experienced this overwhelm! Every time I go to Baby Bunting or a similar department store there is a new gadget on the shelf. When you walk into a huge baby store or big department store there are isles and isles of thousands of products. It’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed!
Let’s be honest a new baby does need certain essential products to make life easier and to keep them safe such as a safe place to sleep, a car seat or capsule, clothes, personal items and the list goes on.
I want to help with some of the overwhelm from a “SAFETY PERSPECTIVE” and arm you with some knowledge that will help you make an informed decision before your next purchase.
I have put together my top 5 tips for preventing overwhelm and how to look for safe products!
- Please don’t be led to believe you need a product – There is some pretty clever marketing out there and a number of products that are marketed to lead you to believe that you need it to keep your baby safe when actually you don’t. Particularly when it comes to introducing products into the sleeping environment. Things like bumpers, pillows, sleeping nests are all not recommended and can actually increase the risk of an injury or a fatal sleeping accident particularly for very young infants. Minimal in the sleeping environment is safest! The cot, the well-fitting mattress and the fitted sheet. Less really is best!
- Does the product meet the Australian Standards – Many products such as prams, cots, clothing, toys and dummies will have an Australian Standard so have a look for this on the packaging or ask a shop assistant. These are voluntary documents that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines. They aim to ensure products, services, and systems are safe, consistent, and reliable. An Australian Standard really is best practice!
- Mandatory Standards – The purpose of a mandatory standard is to make particular safety or information features on products compulsory for legal supply of the product into the Australian market. It is an offence to supply goods that do not comply with mandatory standards (ACCC – Product Safety Australia). Follow this link for a full list of the mandatory standards https://www.productsafety.gov.au/product-safety-laws/safety-standards-bans/mandatory-standards
- Research – It only takes a few seconds to do a google search and look for a review or ask a question on one of the many parenting forums about the quality of a product or someone else’s experience. This really can save you a lot of time and money! When researching please keep this in mind – The ACCC Chair Rob Sims says that “there should be a law in Australia prohibiting the sale of unsafe goods. Many people are surprised to learn that it is not illegal to sell unsafe goods in Australia”. So be careful!
Examples of harm include electrocution from faulty appliances, burns from ignited flammable clothing, choking on children’s toys and suffocation in cots and beds.
- Second-hand products – If you are buying second hand or you are given something second hand, make sure it meets the current Australian Standards and that it is age appropriate.
Ask yourself if the product is still safe and still in good working order, check there are no hazards such as sharp edges or loose parts.
Also, it is really important to request the manufacturers information from the seller and if they don’t have this information, then you can either do a google search or go directly to the manufacturer’s customer support. If you don’t have this information, I would avoid buying the product. It really is better to be safe than sorry.
It really can make a big difference by putting in a little time in when it comes to buying products please plan ahead by researching what you are going to spend your hard-earned money on as well as what you are introducing into your child’s environment ask yourself is it really SAFE. And try not to be influenced by the influencers. I see so many pictures of a beautiful nursery’s that display unsafe products on social media … it scares me! And can lead us to believe it is ok and safe.
For more injury prevention information please follow us on our socials or contact us directly.
Our 3-hour program elaborates on this product safety and much more centered around injury prevention and most of all gives you essential information to empower you to make informed decisions regarding your child’s safety.
Written by Nicolle Sharkey Founder of Safe Start Australia.
- From Research
- From Experience
- From the Heart