The NSW Fair Trading Commissioner and consumer advocacy group CHOICE have both warned parents about the dangers of buying Mermaid tails toys this Christmas.
The mermaid tail comes in two types- a mono fin and a full mermaid suit- they bind the legs of the swimmer and acts as a flipper so the child can ‘swim like a fish’.
Acting commissioner for consumer protection David Hillyard said: “Our worry is that in the excitement of Christmas, a child who may be too young or incapable of using a mermaid tail might end up trying one.”
“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,” CHOICE spokesman Tom Godfrey said.
— Tom Godfrey (@Choice_news) December 19, 2015
Australia’s largest toy retailers, such as Toys R Us, Big W and Target, do not sell mermaid tails. But the toys are easily available to purchase online, with several local supplies listed.
The warning was prompted by a viral video from the US posted online in June which shows a mother rescuing her daughter from a backyard pool after she nearly drowned while wearing her mermaid suit.
Mermaid tails are not banned in Australia.