David Jones Limited, Target Australia Pty Ltd and Little Smiles Pty Ltd have conducted voluntary recalls of Infantino Clack & Teethe toys, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission identified potential choking hazards in the toys it tested.
The majority of these combination teething and rattle toys — shaped like a bird or a squirrel — were sold through David Jones and Target stores between May 2008 and September 2009.
Little Smiles Pty Ltd imported and distributed the toys, including to some smaller retail outlets.
ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell said: "Independent testing conducted as part of our regular surveillance activity showed that small parts came off the main body of the Infantino toy, posing a potential choking and inhalation hazard.
"Teething toys are designed for children to chew on, so any small parts that can easily break off can put children at great risk.
"That is why toys made for children under 36 months have a mandatory safety standard with requirements to ensure toys do not have or cannot break into small parts."
Mr Kell acknowledged the prompt action and cooperation of David Jones, Target, and Little Smiles in recalling the toys.
Little Smiles also contacted all of the smaller retailers it had supplied, while David Jones and Target placed consumer product safety recall notices in their stores.
"Despite having received their own test reports that stated the toy complied with the mandatory standard, these companies have not hesitated in taking action to remove the risk from the market place," Mr Kell said.
"Without commenting on what has occurred in the present case, it is possible that quality control issues during manufacturing may produce goods that in some instances pass and at other times fail tests required under the mandatory standard," he said.
"Accordingly, it is important that traders satisfy themselves that their suppliers are able to deliver products that consistently meet relevant mandatory standards.
"Where batches of a product are supplied over a period of time, testing of the product for compliance should occur at appropriate intervals to ensure consistency.
"This practice is especially important where the products are intended for children who because of their age lack the skills and knowledge to protect themselves," he said.
Mr Kell said that packaging for many toys contained important advisory information to check when selecting toys.
"Whether the toy is for a Christmas present or other occasion, you should take extra care when choosing toys for children under three years old," Mr Kell said.
"Because young children frequently put things in their mouths, it is vital to only choose toys that are appropriate for the age of the child and to throw away any damaged toys with pieces that can break off and cause choking or suffocation."
Consumers can contact Little Smiles Pty Ltd for a full list of additional retailers it supplied with the toy on 1300 665 882 or 02 9389 6766.
Ms Lin Enright, Media, (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520
Release # NR 322/09
Infocentre 1300 302 502