The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has gained a product recall from a party horn supplier after tests revealed it to present a choking hazard for children under the age of three.
"Bakery Sugarcraft Party Horns supplied in various department stores across Australia failed to meet the mandatory safety standard for toys for children under 36 months," ACCC acting chairman, Peter Kell, said today.
"The party horn is no longer being sold in Australia and has been recalled.
"If people have any of these party horns at home, either throw them out or visit the recalls website, www.recalls.gov.au, for refund information.
"The party horn's whistle mouthpiece was made of two parts and when it underwent stringent performance tests, the two parts separated, leaving a small part accessible which could potentially cause a choking or suffocation injury," he said.
In June this year, two year old boy, Cooper O’Brien, came face-to-face with this situation at a children's birthday party when the smaller part of the mouthpiece detached from the party horn.
He ran to his parents looking distressed and apparently unable to breathe.
Shane O'Brien, Cooper's father, says his son had started turning blue in the face.
"It was lucky that my wife and I are both trained in first aid and could remove the piece from his throat before it was too late," he said.
Mr O'Brien feels that the incident has made him more cautious about toys for young children.
"You want kids to be kids and you don't want to take away their fun but I will certainly run my eye over any toy from now on to check for loose parts," he said.
Mr Kell agrees that this is good advice. Suppliers and parents should take extreme care when dealing with children's safety.
"Suppliers, small or large, must ensure that the toys they supply for young children meet the mandatory product safety standard.
"And as we approach the festive season, it is even more reason for parents to ensure that their children are safe while playing with toys," he said.
Mr Kell strongly advised parents to take these crucial steps to ensure the toys their children play with are safe:
- parents and carers are advised to check that objects given to young children are not able to release small parts
- toys that have small parts, or small objects such as coins, batteries and screws should not be given to children under three years of age
- in particular parents and carers should look carefully at party horns they may have purchased, perhaps for a child's birthday or other celebration, to ensure that the whistle mouthpiece not manufactured in two pieces
- read labels and packaging. Look for and follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use and supervision, and
- choose sturdy and well made toys that can stand up to being bitten, tugged, sucked, jumped on and thrown around without falling apart.
The ACCC's Safe toys for kids booklet, includes information on hazards and safety tips for various toys. It is available at http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/742396
Ms Lin Enright, Media, (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520
Release # NR 232/09
Infocentre 1300 302 502