Choice warning after 70 per cent of portable cots fail safety test for babies

New testing from Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group has found that nearly 70 per cent of portable cots fail to meet key safety standards.

Choice experts reviewed 26 portable cots for sale and found 18 of them failed its testing, mainly due to soft or poorly fitting mattresses.

These factors are known to heighten the risk of sudden infant deaths.

Choice testing expert Kim Gilmour said a cot’s brand or price was not always an indication of its safety or quality, with leading department stores like Kmart and Target failing.

Camera IconThe Kmart Anko 3-In-1 Portacot failed Choice’s safety testing. Choice Credit: Supplied

“Our latest batch of reviews shows that almost 70 per cent of these products fail key safety requirements, which is a really disappointing result. Unfortunately, this is something we are used to seeing with this particular baby product,” she said.

“We assess all models in our labs against the most current Australian safety standard for portable cots. But there are still many models failing to even meet the minimum mandatory requirements, such as mattress firmness.”

18 cots that failed Choice’s testing:

  • Aeromoov Instant Travel Cot ($399)
  • Baby Bunting 4Baby Liteway Travel Cot EA11816 ($149)
  • Baby Bunting 4Baby Clouds 2 in 1 Portacot EA12117 ($99)
  • Baby Bunting 4Baby Vacation Portacot EA12116 ($49)
  • Babyhood Uno 2 in 1 Portacot ($449)
  • Chicco Lullaby Easy Portacot ($500)
  • Childcare Matisse 4 in 1 Travel Cot ($180)
  • Joie Excursion Change & Rock Travel Cot ($329)
  • Kmart Anko Travel Portacot 42-001-409 ($49)
  • Kmart Anko 3 in 1 Portacot 42723370 ($95)
  • Love N Care Playland Travel Cot ($150)
  • Phil & Teds Traveller 2021 TR-V5-5/100 ($450)
  • Star Kidz Amico Super Light Travel Cot ($249)
  • Star Kidz Vivo Super Light Travel Cot ($399)
  • Target Adventure V2 3 in 1 Portacot BRT022A1 ($99)
  • Target Holiday Portacot BRT023A ($55)
  • Vee Bee Amado Travel & Play Cot N9560 ($199)
  • Vee Bee The Sierra N9338 ($239).

Choice tests portable cots at an in-house lab and examines factors like sturdiness, entrapment hazards, strangulation hazards and strength.

The expert rating it gives is based 70 per cent on performance and 30 per cent on ease of use.

Mother & son hugging in the sunset
Camera IconChoice is warning parents to be alert over the portable cots they are buying. Credit: Supplied

Ms Gilmour said it was concerning that the safety issues they found could result in fatal consequences.

“Most of the safety failures we see relate to the portacot mattress either being not firm enough or not fitting snugly inside the portacot base,” she said.

“Soft or poorly fitting mattresses can increase the risk of sudden unexpected infant death. We also see problematic cot designs that have ‘puffy’ covers that can also cause a risk.”

Choice has subsequently called on the Australian government to immediately strengthen its product safety laws, rather than waiting for a serious injury or accident to happen.

Baby Bunting and Kmart both said their products had been tested by an accredited lab and were confident they complied.

Star Kidz also said its cots had passed all relevant safety standards from an accredited lab.

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