11 May 2017
Media Release - #2017065, 2017

Simpler standard for baby dummies and dummy chains

BABIES’ dummies and dummy chains will be subject to a single product safety standard following a review by the consumer watchdog, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says.

“Dummies and dummy chains are an essential part of the baby bag for any new parent or those with toddlers. Parents deserve the certainty to know the products are safe for their child’s use,” Mr McCormack said.

“As parents and carers look after their child, it is my job as the Minister responsible for consumer affairs to make sure the product safety standard looks after them.”

Mr McCormack said the Australian product safety standard for babies’ dummies and dummy chains has today been strengthened, following review by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“I have accepted the ACCC’s review and update of safety standards, meaning parents can continue to trust dummies and products such as dummy chains are safe,” Mr McCormack said.

“The improved safety standard incorporates standards from Europe – where most dummies sold in Australia are manufactured – and will also make it easier for businesses selling these products to ensure they comply.

“Updates to safety standards over time have seen fewer injuries and no deaths from baby dummies. Parents can be confident the two-year transition period to today’s update means there is no dilution in safety, so dummies purchased yesterday which comply with the current standard are still right for use today.”

The recommendations simplify the standard and include guidance on flexible and non-flexible designs, providing clarity by combining all safety requirements for dummies and dummy chains in a single standard.

Babies’ dummies are covered by a safety standard to ensure they have key safety features which address well-known choking and strangulation hazards and reduce the risk of injury and death. Since the introduction of the safety standard in 2006, there have been fewer injuries and no deaths.

The ACCC consulted with a range of stakeholders, including government, consumer groups, manufacturers, suppliers, and testing and certification companies.

The new standard includes the option to comply with the European soother standard or an updated Australian standard and will also incorporate two separate bans addressing unsafe decorations on dummies and dummy chains.

Further information on the standard is available on the ACCC website.


Background

Since the safety standard commenced in 2006, design failures in babies’ dummies have caused fewer injuries and no deaths. The broadened standard will further ensure dummies and dummy chains have safety features that address choking, inhalation, ingestion and strangulation hazards.

Babies’ dummies with unsafe decorations are subject to a permanent ban to address decorations detaching and creating a choking, inhalation or ingestion hazard. Dummy chains with unsafe decorations are also subject to a permanent ban for the same reasons.

Suppliers will have a two-year transition period to meet the requirements in the new product safety standard.