Three well-known brand name cot mattresses have failed safety checks designed to reduce the risk of infant suffocation, according to consumer group Choice.
This has prompted calls by Choice for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to make the voluntary firmness test mandatory for all products.
Choice tested 12 cot mattresses and found that three from Childcare, Sealy and Love N Care had failed and were therefore too soft, leading to an increase in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
These safety tests have been in place since 2013 but are not compulsory, despite the fact other cot safety requirements concerning height and mattress gaps are.
“It is gravely concerning that three of the biggest brands in the cot mattress market have failed a safety test that has been in place for three years,” says Tom Godfrey, Choice spokesman.
“With the mandatory Australian Standard for cots set to be reviewed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this year, it's time to put our kids' safety first and mandate the 'firmness test'.”
The exact products that failed were the Love N Care Organic Aloe Vera Latex Mattress, the Childcare Inner Spring Breathable Mattress and the Sealy Baby Cot Mattress Dreamy.
Love N Care CEO Terry Elchek told Sydney Morning Herald they disagreed with the test results but still “took it very seriously”. He said the company had conducted its own safety checks, and sent the product back to the factory for additional testing.
Sealy claims their own lab testing revealed they’d passed the firmness standard, but would “immediately review its cot mattress specifications to address any potential for variation and non-compliance with the standard.”
Childcare also did not agree with the assessment results, but are taking it “very seriously”. However, they are sending the product back for more testing, according to Sydney Morning Herald.
If you’re concerned about the safety of a mattress your child is currently using, Choice recommends a simple at-home test, found here.
Choice has also started a petition to make the firmness test mandatory by the ACCC.
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