Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) inspectors have seized more than 10,000 dangerous products before they could end up under Victorian Christmas trees and in the hands of our kids.
Toys that present a choking hazard, projectiles, portable pools and household cots were among the items seized during 400 business inspections.
Parents are being urged to take extra care with portable pools to stop children drowning, particularly during the hot summer months.
Shoppers also need to be aware of product safety when buying gifts, with product safety experts recommending adults:
- check the age recommendation and consider whether anyone younger may have access to the toy
- read the label and instructions
- ensure button batteries are properly secured in toys and other items
- inspect toys for sharp edges, small parts, long cords and weak construction
In 2017-18, CAV product safety experts conducted more than 1,100 inspections – removing more than 74,000 unsafe items from sale.
Thanks to the Andrews Labor Government, businesses found with unsafe products can receive $5,000 on-the-spot fines, while serious and repeat breaches of product safety laws can lead to court action and penalties of $500,000 for individuals, and $10 million for companies.
The Labor Government is also reminding Victorians of their consumer rights as thousands head to the shops for gifts and post-Christmas sales.
If you score a bargain your refund rights remain the same. If your item is faulty you are entitled to repairs or refunds, and you don’t need the original packaging to make these claims.
Shoppers can download the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ACCC Shopper smartphone app to help them know their rights and navigate the refund and returns process.
Anyone with concerns about product safety can contact CAV on 1300 36 48 94 or visit consumer.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz
“Product safety inspectors have been out in force making sure harmful toys are off the shelves and aren’t finding their way into the hands of our kids.”
“I urge everyone buying gifts this Christmas to always read warning labels and follow the safety instructions.”
Quote attributable to Kidsafe Victoria President Erica Edmands
“Toys play an important role in helping children to learn and develop – it’s important to always consider the safety and age appropriateness of toys when purchasing them for children.”