A new choking tool is now available for parents in an attempt to prevent injuries and deaths caused by children swallowing loose product parts.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 11 per cent of accidental child injury deaths are related to suffocation or choking. Kidsafe data also reveals approximately 430 children between 0 and 15 need treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital every year for choking incidents.
Introduced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), parents can print out a pattern to determine what objects could pose a risk to their children. The Choke Check is cylinder-shaped and mimics the size and shape of a one-and-a-half-year-old child.
If the toy or piece fits inside the shape, then it has the potential to get stuck down a baby’s throat or even be swallowed.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said children are especially at risk from putting small pieces into their mouth and as a result there can be deadly consequences.
“They naturally explore things by putting them in their mouths – as their coughing reflexes are underdeveloped, objects can get easily lodged in their throat and choke or suffocate them. If swallowed, these objects can cause internal blockages,” she explained.
“Children up to 36 months old are especially vulnerable to choking and ingestion hazards from a range of common objects found in and outside the home.”
Ms Rickard said small parts on toys can easily break off or detach that can present a choking risk to young children.
“Also keep in mind age-appropriateness – some toys that designed for older children may present a choking risk for babies and toddlers,” she said.
Parents are reminded to follow any warning labels or safety information carefully when buying toys. If a product does break or displays unforeseen risks, then you are recommended to take the toy back to the retailer or the manufacturer.
Product liability in NSW
If your child chokes on a product because it has broken or pieces have detached, your family could be eligible for compensation.
Choking injuries from products are common so if you believe you have a case, contact a compensation lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners.
These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances of success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it’s completely up to you whether you engage their services.