Almost half of an estimated 680 products recalled for safety reasons each year are child and baby products, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
While consumers often assume it is small, unknown retailers selling unsafe products, research by consumer advocacy group CHOICE has found that is not correct.
At the moment, there are 1426 kids' and baby products listed for recall on the ACCC's Product Safety Australia website for safety reasons. The stores with the most recalled products since 2015 include Big W, Target and Japanese-based chain Daiso.
The main reasons for product recalls. Photo: CHOICE
According to ACCC commissioner Sarah Court, one of the biggest reasons for there being so many recalls is the lack of a mandatory product safety provision in Australia.
"Many people would be surprised to learn there is currently no law that requires businesses to not sell unsafe products," she told CHOICE. "In Australia, two people die and 145 people are injured every day by unsafe consumer products."
A survey by the consumer advocacy group showed that 93 percent of Australians thought there was a law in place. Choice and the ACCC called for the federal government to pass mandatory product safety laws, but it hasn't happened yet.
Ms Court says the return rates for children's toys have improved since 2016, with one in five toy recalls having a return rate of 80 percent or higher.
Retailers responses to product recalls
The retail chain told CHOICE that the recalls rates have been reduced significantly over the past five years, adding that only a small percentage of products that get recalled compared to the amount of products they sell.
"On average, less that 0.1 percent of our range has been the subject of a recall during the five year period that CHOICE is investigating," a spokesperson said. "And that figure falls to 0.03 percent for 2020."
Target did not respond to requests by CHOICE for comment
The online retail giant signed a voluntary new e-product safety pledge launched by the ACCC in November 2020, which commits online businesses to make sure they're not selling unsafe products bu regularly checking Australia's product recall website and to remove unsafe product listings within two business days
The store recalled six kids' and baby products in 2019 and four in 2015, due to lack of fire hazard information.
Daiso had 11 kids' and baby product recalls since 2015 because they had a choking or eye and face injury hazard.
The sporting good store recalled eight products in April 2019. All were flotation devices and were recalled due to lack of mandatory safety labelling, which could increase the risk of drowning.
Have a look at some of the recalled products listed from the above stores here.