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Your First Steps – baby product safety

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Baby on the floor with coloured blocks

Credit: Productions

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby is an exciting time, but it can be difficult to know what safety features to look for when choosing baby products and, importantly, how to use them safely.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched Your First Steps, a new website parents and carers can use to get the latest, most reliable information on baby product safety in the first six months of a child’s life.

“Young children, babies in particular, are among our most vulnerable members of the community and Your First Steps is a key part of our mission to help ensure their safety,” says ACCC Deputy Chair, Delia Rickard.

How Your First Steps can help

Your First Steps includes information on the steps that parents and carers can take to keep their baby safe, whether they are sleeping or soothing, bathing or changing, playing or out and about and on the move.

Cots, car seats, dummies, toys and bath aids are among the key categories covered by Your First Steps.

“Many everyday products can harm a baby through entrapment, falls, choking, suffocation and strangulation. This can be caused by unsafe product design or inappropriate use. It can also happen when parents or carers unwittingly use the products in an unsafe way. If you come across an unsafe product, tell the supplier and report it to the ACCC,” Ms Rickard says.

“Boring is best when it comes to soothing and sleeping babies. Only ever place infants to sleep on a flat, firm surface and avoid decorations or any soft objects in or around the cot.”

Many everyday products can harm a baby through entrapment, falls, choking, suffocation and strangulation.
Delia Rickard

Your First Steps also covers products that parents may not realise can be dangerous to their little one.

 “We are increasingly concerned about a number of products marketed at soothing babies. Weary parents can understandably see these products as lifesavers in the haze of new-parent exhaustion, but they are potentially deadly,” Ms Rickard says,

Understanding safe sleep

Tragically, the data over the 20 years to 2021 reveals around two infant deaths each year associated with inclined sleep products, and in the same period the death of around one child each year has been associated with other infant sleep aids.

Your First Steps points to the significant suffocation risks around sleeping babies on inclined products such as bouncers, rockers and swings. We don’t want to scare new parents, but by understanding the dangers of these products, parents can make more informed choices to help protect their baby.”

Information about popular sleep aids such as soft toys and comforters is also included in the resource.

“Soft toys and comforters are marketed as being safe for sleep, but they can cover a sleeping baby’s nose and mouth and interfere with their breathing. Parents and carers should reconsider using these products and if they choose to use them, never leave baby unattended,” Ms Rickard says.

Keep up to date with product safety information

“Visit to take your first steps to raising a safe and happy baby, and make sure you share this website with other parents and carers in your life.

“Follow the ACCC on Facebook and Twitter for updates and alerts.

“If you come across an unsafe product in your home, be sure to tell the supplier and report it to the ACCC.”