Parents demand safety laws for child goods

Parents such as Alison Rees and Andrea Shoesmith (R) want it made illegal to sell unsafe toys.
Parents such as Alison Rees and Andrea Shoesmith (R) want it made illegal to sell unsafe toys.

Parents and doctors will converge on Parliament House in Canberra to call for the Australian government to make it illegal to sell unsafe toys.

Amongst them will be Andrea Shoesmith and Allison Rees, whose children died after they swallowed button batteries.

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has found some products had a 98 per cent failure, exposing kids to safety risks.

The group said it found 10 out of 17 button battery-powered household items were dangerous.

Ms Rees, whose baby girl Bella died four years ago, says there had been countless other kids injured by button batteries since.

"It's too late for Bella, but it's not too late for everyone else," Ms Rees says.

Button batteries swallowed by children can become lodged in the oesophagus, leading to serious injuries, paralysis or death.

There had been 17 cases of kids being seriously injured after swallowing the batteries since December 2017, plus two deaths.

Ms Shoesmith's daughter Summer died six years ago after swallowing a battery - since then she's tried to lobby for change but feels "fobbed off".

CHOICE also pointed to other products, like strollers, cots and portable cots, which had high failure rates.

Over 50 per cent of the 173 cots tested by the group since 2012 had failed.

Even worse, 83 per cent of 163 strollers tested since 2012 failed, as did 98 per cent of 60 portable cots tested since 2011.

Chief executive Alan Kirkland said companies should face large fines for flooding the market with "unsafe junk".

"It's essential that parliament be forced to take this problem seriously," Mr Kirkland said.

Australian Associated Press