Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has issued a warning to parents to be wary of buying convertible tricycle strollers on eBay or Amazon after several models failed to meet mandatory safety standards.
Of the nine products tested by CHOICE, six did not meet Australian safety requirements, placing children at risk of serious injury.
"It is unacceptable that these products have been allowed to reach Australian families," says safety expert, Chris Barnes. "Parents expect the products they buy for their children to be safe and rightfully so."
The six products that failed CHOICE testing are:
- Achieveyourdream (eBay) Convertible Tricycle Stroller
- Liang_zn (eBay) Convertible Tricycle Stroller
- Supacheapa (eBay) Convertible Tricycle Stroller
- Metradingco (eBay) 3 in 1 Folding Trike
- Babycore 4 in 1 Progress Trike
- Q Play Rito
"There are a huge number of problems with these convertible tricycle strollers, which could result in serious injury to your child," Barnes says.
The tricycle stroller deemed most dangerous was the Achieveyourdream Convertible Tricycle Stroller, available on eBay, which had no brakes and no harness. Other models had missing breaks, missing tether straps or harnesses that didn't meet safety standards.
Babycore 4 in 1 Progress Trike/CHOICE
CHOICE baby and kids product expert Kim Gilmour, said the worst offenders tended to come from eBay, Amazon and catch.com.au.
"Think twice before ordering a convertible tricycle stroller from an online marketplace," Ms Gilmour says, adding that parents should instead make purchases through a mainstream retailer.
"We found many examples of dodgy products which failed even the most basic stroller safety standards such as a suitable harness. Some had torn or missing instructions, a lack of warning labels and unsuitable parking brakes. It would be dangerous to transport an infant in them."
Liang_zn Convertible Tricycle Stroller/CHOICE
To comply with Australian standards, convertible tricycle strollers must have:
- parking brakes to prevent it from rolling away (these need to be red for visibility)
- a permanently fixed harness with waist and crotch straps to secure your child
- a tether strap on the handle as added security against the stroller rolling away
- clear warning notices for safe use.
Parents should also consider these features:
- 5-point safety harness
- large parking brakes
- lockable or removable front handlebars
- lockable or removable pedals
- foot rest
- canopy/sun shade
- parent handle.
The findings have renewed calls for a General Safety Duty, which involves introducing a new section on product safety into the Australian Consumer Law so that all products will be subject to basic and sensible safety checks before going on sale.
"Australians need a new product safety law to put responsibility where it should be - with the manufacturer, to ensure that their product is safe before it's sold," says Barnes.
Last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) fined Target and Baby Bunting, for selling unsafe convertible tricycle strollers. The convertible strollers were marketed as safe to be used as strollers for transporting babies and young children, but did not comply with the mandatory safety standard for prams and strollers.
"The design of these products and the way they were marketed by Target and Baby Bunting gave consumers the misleading impression they could be safely used as strollers, including to transport babies," ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said at the time.
"It is vital all prams and strollers, including products that can convert into something else, comply with the relevant safety standards."