Online marketplaces Amazon and eBay are among those named and shamed for selling playpens that fail safety standards, but a surprise recommendation has gone to a budget retailer.
Remarkably, there is no Australian standard for playpens, so consumer advocacy group Choice conducted testing on 26 playpens ranging in price from $89 to $399 based on standards for other relevant products as well as international standards.
The most expensive one, the Baby Care BP-001 model, got one of the worst ratings at 33 per cent, on par with the Cuddly Baby BP-C-19P model, priced at $209.
Both were found to have entrapment hazards and strangulation risk, while the Baby Care product was deemed a poor structure, with a risk of the infant falling or escaping.
Playpens produced by ABST got the two worst ratings.
The company’s Bubble playpen ( ABST-BL20 model), priced at $170, scored a dismal 18 per cent with five serious safety failures, including major finger, limb and head entrapment hazards, the gate being insufficiently childproof and potential footholds that can be used for climbing out.
The ABST Running Bear playpen (AOLE-BBX16 model), priced at $160, had the same failings plus the potential for a child’s clothing to get snagged and pose a strangulation hazard, scoring just 19 per cent.
Not far behind at 20 per cent was the $90 tent-like Komodo Indoor Outdoor Kids Playpen Instant Set Up, sold by Kogan, which had a major head entrapment hazard and was prone to collapsing, Choice said.
“If you’ve bought one of these playpens, Choice recommends that you discontinue use and seek a refund from the retailer,” testing expert Kim Gilmour said.
“Retailers and buy, swap, sell platforms should remove these products.”
She said it was pleasing Amazon Australia had removed from sale the 14-panelled Gupamiga PLP-14WL004-15 model, priced at $160, since being notified by Choice.
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Child safety warning: Playpens sold on Amazon, eBay and Kogan pose strangulation, injury risks