The Royal Life Saving Society WA has warned parents of the dangers of baby neck floats, after some were banned for sale in Queensland.
The neck floats were originally designed as medical aids for children with a disability, but have recently become more popular as a recreational item.
Royal Life Saving Society WA’s Lauren Nimmo said there are several concerns with the floats in questions.
“They can pose a drowning risk to children if the device deflates or topples over, or the child slips through,” Ms Nimmo said.
“If a baby is in the water a parent should be in the water with them and within arm’s reach at all times.
“Unfortunately we know that using any type of floatation device can give parents a false sense of security and lead to lapses in supervision.”
The floats can also pose a problem for children’s development, by unnaturally restricting their movement and placing them in a less than ideal position.
“Ms Nimmo says this can have a detrimental impact longer term.
“The way the float suspends the child doesn’t give them the opportunity to develop correct positioning in the water, which may disadvantage them as they prepare for the transition to learning to swim.”
Royal Life Saving Society WA encourages all parents choosing floatation devices for their children to ensure they only purchase products that comply with the mandatory Australian standards, follow all safety instructions, and never leave their children unsupervised.
Consumer Protection is urging parents who’ve purchased devices that are not compliant with standards to return them to the point of purchase for a refund.
Information on the products that have been recalled can be found on the Product Safety Australia website www.productsafety.gov.au.