Safety concerns over baby floats

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 July, 2009, 12:00am

The United States' consumer watchdog announced a voluntary recall of four million Chinese-made flotation devices for babies yesterday, warning parents they might not be safe.

The recall of the inflatable baby floats was announced jointly by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Massachusetts-based Aqua-Leisure Industries, which had the swimming toys manufactured on the mainland.

Fourteen models are involved in the recall, of which four are sold in Hong Kong.

The move came after there were 31 reports of float seats tearing, causing children to fall into the water, according to the commission. No injuries were reported.

The floats in question have a date between August 2002 and July 2008 moulded on their valves, and have been for sale in American stores since December 2002.

The four models sold by Toys 'R' Us in Hong Kong are the Deluxe Baby Boat inflatable pool seat, Crabby Baby Float, Ticklish Turtle Baby Float and Deluxe Toddler Racer.

The Hong Kong branch of Toys 'R' Us has removed the products from its shelves.

'We are happy to arrange an exchange or a refund,' it said yesterday. Customers with queries can contact its hotline on 2991 6222.

The Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department has contacted the product's agency about the problematic floats, a spokesman said. Officers also inspected stores to see if any of the inflatables were still on shelves.