With Christmas rapidly approaching, many shoppers are looking to pick up popular gift ideas like drones, smartphones and slow cookers for their loved ones. Unfortunately, some items aren't safe and should not be purchased under any circumstances. Consumer watchdog Choice recently named and shamed a range of products that were recalled due to safety concerns in 2016. Here are 12 to avoid putting under your Christmas tree.
2016 saw hundreds of products recalled in Australia due to safety concerns, representing a 12 per cent increase on previous years. In addition to the usual "el cheapo" suspects, this included a number of popular products from big-name retailers and manufacturers - companies you would expect to have higher quality control.
While most of these products are no longer available to buy in Australia, you might still stumble across them online or from independent merchants who never got the memo. Or perhaps you did your Christmas shopping in advance? Either way, it's worth checking Choice's naughty list to ensure your products are safe.
“When a product is recalled in Australia, on average only around half the products will be returned to the company," Choice explained in a statement.
"With so many of us shopping online and heading to stores in the lead up to Christmas, it’s a good time to check your home for recalled products and exercise your rights.”
Here are the worst offenders from 2016:
#1 Ozsale kids nightwear
"Ozsale's Orange Superhero Pajamas do not display the mandatory fire-hazard warning labels. Worryingly, the fabric and the length of the cape present a very real risk of injury, as it could easily brush against a heat source and very quickly catch fire."
#2 Swarovski Octa Crystal Pendant Light
"The crystal in the light fixture can detach if damaged during shipment and if it detaches and falls, it poses an impact hazard."
#3 Flashing Duck with LED Light
"The flashing duck, which was sold through Priceline, contains a button battery and LED light which may become dislodged. If this occurs, there is a risk the button battery could be ingested by a child."
#4 Kogan 3DR Solo Smart Drone Quadcopter
"Components of the drone have not been tested or approved by Australian electrical certification."
#5 Inflatable frog
"Mesco’s & RPC Promo’s inflatable frogs were promoted nationally at agricultural shows but unfortunately the inflation plugs could be removed by a child, presenting a choking hazard."
#6 Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones
"Samsung has recalled more than 50,000 Galaxy Note7 smartphones in Australia due to a fire risk. If you had one of the affected smartphones, stop using it immediately and seek a full refund."
#7 Metagenics’ NasoClear
"Metagenics’ NasoClear is a complementary medicine product that combines a saline solution scented with essential oils. Some products may contain Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as Golden staph. Golden staph can cause life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis or blood-stream infections."
#8 Breville’s Fast Slow Cooker
"Breville has recalled its Fast Slow Cooker due to a risk of scalding from hot liquids. Consumers who have the Fast Slow Cooker in their possession should contact Breville customer service to arrange for a replacement gasket kit."
#9 Zoggs Bobin Swim Jacket & Zoggs Swim Jacket
"These Zoggs jackets fail to display warning labels on their outer surfaces and do not comply with Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZ 1900:2014 Flotation aids for water familiarization and swimming tuition."
#10 Spotlight’s Rustic Cabin Birch Candle
"Spotlight’s Bouclair Home - Rustic Cabin Birch Candle has birch surrounding the candleholder ,which could catch fire and remain alight longer than permitted by the ban on combustible candle holders. This could result in burns, serious injury or death if the candle catches fire."
#11 Kmart Spiral Vegetable Cutter
"Kmart’s spiral vegetable cutter has a manufacturing issue that may cause the blade to break during use. If the defect occurs, blade pieces may become mixed with food, posing an ingestion and laceration hazard."
#12 Adairs kids’ bean bag covers and Adairs adult bean bag covers
"Adairs Kids’ bean bags and adult bean bags fail to display the mandatory warning that bean bags are not safe sleeping surfaces “for an infant under 12 months of age."
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. To see more dodgy potential gifts to avoid, check out the ACCC's Product Safety website.