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‘Everyone Love’ baby walkers put children at risk

‘Everyone Love’ baby walkers put children at risk

Buyers of an imported brand of baby walker are being warned by the Commerce Commission that the walkers do not meet the required safety standard regulations and could put children at risk of injury.

The baby walkers, which were imported from China in April this year, have been on sale in three retail outlets in Auckland – Early Bird Imports in Panmure, and Payless King in both New Lynn and Otahuhu. The baby walkers may also have been sold in some South Auckland markets.

The baby walkers have no clear branding but are identifiable by their brightly coloured plastic frames and stickers attached to the frame with the wording ‘Everyone Love’. The baby walkers have retailed for $29.95 to $49.95.

Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said the baby walkers were in breach of the product safety standard regulations because they had no permanent safety labelling and no device to stop them tumbling down stairs. In addition, they had no instructions as to assembly or maintenance.

“Children are not safe in these walkers, particularly in potentially dangerous situations when close to stairs or heaters,” Ms Battell said.

“As a result of the Commission investigation, the importer has now removed the remaining baby walkers from sale in the three retail outlets and is endeavouring to locate those baby walkers that have been purchased. He has also posted recall signs in store and is placing recall notices in local newspapers,” she added.

“It is vital that importers are aware of their responsibilities under New Zealand’s Fair Trading Act to comply with the product safety standards regulations.” The Commission is advising buyers to return the baby walkers to their place of purchase. People who have purchased a baby walker at a market can return it to any of the three retail outlets.

Background Under the Fair Trading Act, the Commerce Commission has the responsibility for enforcing six product safety standards. They are for: baby walkers; pedal bicycles; flammability of children’s night clothes ; toys for children aged up to three years (prohibits toys that can be a choking hazard); cigarette lighters; and household cots.

The Product Safety Standards (Baby Walker) Regulations 2001 require that baby walkers are sold with product information and safety warnings on them. In addition, manufacturers will have to ensure safety features that help prevent them from tipping over or toppling downstairs are included. There is no single feature that can be identified as making a baby walker compliant. Design features that have been used to meet the safety outcomes (such as preventing the product from falling down steps) include: recessed wheel mouldings; rubber friction grips/strips on the base; rubber grips round corners.

A product that complies with the American standards (ASTM F977-00) and/or carries a JPMA logo (Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association) would also indicate compliance with our standards.

The regulations apply to any person involved in the importing, manufacture, distribution or retail of baby walkers and covers both retail and private supply (including second-hand), exchange, lease, hire and hire-purchase of baby walkers.

Retailers, manufacturers and importers who sell non-compliant walkers can be fined up to $200,000, private individuals up to $60,000.

Media note: The Commission has several ‘Everyone Love’ baby walkers available in its Auckland office, as well as digital photographs of the walkers.

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