CHOICE has named more than ten portable cots in its annual Shonky Awards today.
The “awards” have been running since 2006 and name and shame the shonkiest products and companies taking advantage of Australian consumers.
Choice claim it has tested 60 portacots and that the vast majority have failed to meet minimum safety requirements.
Minimum voluntary safety standards for the portable cot have been around for 40 years.
In 2009, certain sections of these standards concerning suffocation, falls, instability (tipping over), robustness of locks, and head or neck entrapment were made mandatory.
A new standard was introduced in 2010, which included a crucial test to ensure the walls of a portable cot have breathable zones in case an infant rolls against the edge face first. However, these more stringent 2010 standards remain entirely voluntary.
Data from the National Coronial Information System linked eight deaths to portacot safety issues between 2000 and 2009. More cases have since appeared in government reports and the media, indicating safety-related preventable deaths are still occurring.
Choice named the following brands for putting infant safety in second place:
- Baby Björn
- Baby Solutions (Kmart)
- Elite Baby
- Love N Care
- Phil & Teds
- Vee Bee.