Parents are being warned of the dangers of a “mermaid tail” pool toy that binds a child’s legs and acts like a flipper as they swim.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe and the consumer watchdog CHOICE issued the warning on Saturday, highlighting a video from the US.
It shows a young girl getting stuck upside down in her family’s backyard pool as she uses her mermaid tail for the first time, before being rescued by her mother.
In a statement Mr Stowe and CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey urged parents to think carefully before buying a mermaid tail for their children this Christmas.
“These aquatic toys could present a risk for a young child, particularly if they are not a strong swimmer. The video is quite harrowing and should serve as a timely reminder to all parents to be vigilant about water safety,” Mr Godfrey said.
The pool play products usually come with an age recommendation of six years plus, advice that the child needs to be a good swimmer, must be supervised and may require a lesson in how to use the tail.
West Australian Consumer Protection acting commissioner David Hillyard issued a similar warning to parents in that state last week.