Winter has reached most parts of the country and many of us have already hauled out the winter woollies, electric blankets and hot water bottles so here is a timely reminder about using these products safely.
Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Stirling Hinchliffe said a number of winter warmer products could pose a safety risk if they were old, worn or not used properly.
“As with any product, but particularly products that could cause scalds or burns, consumers should always follow the user guide or instructions carefully,” he said.
“Electric blankets, hot water bottles, heat or wheat packs and children’s sleepwear are just some items used regularly in winter that can pose a risk.
“For example, each year more than 200 people in Australia are treated for serious burns caused while using hot water bottles.
“Always use hot tap water and not boiling water to fill your hot water bottle and replace the item as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn.
“If using wheat bags or other heat packs, check that they come with clear heating instructions attached to the product and allow them to cool completely before reheating.
“If you notice a burning smell, you’ve probably over-heated it so allow the wheat bag to cool down completely then dispose of it.
“Every year there are multiple admissions to hospital emergency departments of children who have been burnt by their clothing catching fire.
“Even children’s clothing and sleepwear with a ‘low fire danger’ label is still flammable, so always keep children away from open heat sources, such as fireplaces and heaters.
“Always check electric blankets for signs of wear and tear before use and seek advice about using one from your health practitioner if you are pregnant or have diabetes.”
Consumers can check if a product has been recalled for safety reasons by visiting Product Safety Australia at https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls
Want to know more? Find winter safety tips on the Office of Fair Trading website at https://www.qld.gov.au/law/fair-trading