Product safety: 1 - 2 Years

How big a problem is it?

This category of injury risk is rare, but baby walkers are a significant risk. There are products that present issues that can lead to serious injury and death. Children 1-2 years are at risk from injury from swallowing products, but also products that appear to be designed for them but which need to be treated very cautiously.

Safekids Aotearoa simply says children are better off without baby walkers. Check out the resource link to baby walkers above and at the bottom of the page.

Who does it affect?

Key to this is information is making sure products are appropriate for your child’s age. Most products that present risks are formally reviewed by the government agency responsible, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE). They make their recommendations public and provide a product recall notice service, which you can sign up to here.

The issue is that products can be imported that do not present a risk when retailers and consumers first see them. They may be on the market before the system is able to identify the problem. Pairs of high-powered magnets are an example. If swallowed these can join up in the digestive system. They can join with such force that they can crush tissue and if untreated this can lead to major tissue damage, sepsis and even death.

There are a number of products that can present risks. Among them are bath seats and rings; super-absorbent polymers; button batteries; hot water bottles; bunk beds; age-inappropriate toys and cigarette-lighters. Please note this is not a list of every possible product. Use our top tips for ways you can ensure these and other products you buy are safe to use. And see the lists that we link to at Consumer Protection below.

Top Tips

  • Babies don’t need baby walkers and the same goes for toddlers 1-2 years.

  • Check the product’s packaging to locate an approved safety standard. 

  • Follow the instructions on how to assemble, maintain and use a product correctly. 

  • Supervise children when playing. 

  • Ensure products are age appropriate. 

  • Make sure products are stored appropriately and in a safe manner. 

  • Products can deteriorate with use, so take a look at them regularly for broken parts. 

  • Before you buy a toy, check that it is right for your child’s age. Remember, the smaller the child, the bigger the toy. If a toy is small enough to fit into a toilet roll it’s too small for a child less than 3 years. 

  • Check the public information provided by the government agencies Product Safety (MBIE) and the Commerce Commission. 

  • Product Safety has a Keeping Kids Safe section which lists specific products, areas and issue. 

  • If you have checked your toys or other products that you have bought for your children and found them to be faulty there are a number of steps to take. Consumer Protection has more information here

If your child is injured or has a near-miss with a product, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE) encourage you to report it here.

First Aid

Choking: Partial airway obstruction in a Responsive Patient

Never use back blows on a person who is able to cough effectively or breathe. 

Ask the patient ‘are you choking?’ to determine whether their airway is completely blocked. If they are unable to answer or make noise, treat as for total airway obstruction.

If they can answer or breathe:

1.    Reassure and encourage the patient

  • Stay with the patient until full recovery has occurred.  

  • Encourage the patient to cough and expel the foreign body. 

If the obstruction is not relieved – call for 111 an ambulance.

Choking: Total airway obstruction

Call 111 for an ambulance.

1.    If patient is conscious, give up to 5 back blows 

  • With an adult or child, standing or sitting (and leaning forward), and using the heel of one hand, give the back blows between the patient’s shoulder blades. 

  • Check between each back blow to see if the item has been dislodged.

  • Place a baby face down on your lap for the back blows. Ensure you support the baby’s head. Give firm back blows, checking between each to see if the item is dislodged.

2.    If unsuccessful, give up to 5 chest thrusts

  • With an adult or child, standing or sitting, wrap both arms around the patient, at chest level. 

  • Place one fist with the thumb side against the middle of the breastbone. 

  • Grasp that fist with your other hand and give up to 5, separate, inward and upward thrusts. 

  • Check between each chest thrust to see if the item has been dislodged.

  • Place a baby face upwards on a firm surface and give up to 5 sharp chest thrusts just below the nipple line, checking between each thrust.

The back blows and chest thrusts are given separately with a check after each one to see if the obstruction has been relieved. 

3.    If the obstruction has not been relieved 

Ensure an ambulance has been called.

  • Continue alternating back blows and chest thrusts until the ambulance arrives. 

  • If the person becomes unresponsive, begin CPR, using DRS ABCD,  as below.

Airway obstruction in an Unresponsive patient

How you can help

  1. Call 111 for an ambulance.

  2. Quickly check the mouth

  • Use your fingers to remove any visible solid obstruction.

  1. Begin CPR

  • Begin CPR and continue until the ambulance arrives. There may be some resistance to inflations at first until the object has been dislodged.

To start CPR follow Drs ABCD 

D Dangers? Check for any dangers to yourself such as electricity or traffic.  

R Responsive? Check responsiveness by calling loudly and shaking the child's arm. 

S Send for help. Dial 111 and confirm an ambulance is on its way. Use the appropriate emergency number in other countries. 

A Airway. Open the airway by moving the head into a neutral position and lifting the chin. Do not tilt the head back too far. 

B Breathing. Look and feel for movement of the lower chest and stomach area. Listen and feel for air coming from the nose or mouth. 

C CPR. If the child is not breathing, start CPR - 30 compressions to 2 breaths. Put the child on a firm surface. Place the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest just below the nipples. Push down hard and fast 30 times in about 15 seconds (push down one-third of chest depth). Once you have completed 30 compressions (pushes) on the chest, breathe into the child’s mouth pinching their nose closed. Gently puff into the child until you see their chest rise. Continue with the cycle of 30 chest compressions and two breaths until the ambulance arrives. 

D Defibrillator. Attach defibrillator as soon as it is available and follow prompts. 


This page includes a link to the KidsHealth website CPR advice and a page containing the Basic Life Support Flow Chart. The Basic Life Support Flow Chart is developed by the New Zealand Resuscitation Council and Australian Resuscitation Council. For more information see  Choking first aid advice is modelled on the St Johns advice on their website (link below).

Links to Safekids’ resources

Product Safety Resources

Download Babies Don't Need Baby Walkers Pamphlet>>


Links to other organisations’ resources

St Johns Choking Advice

Current Product Safety Recalls - Consumer Protection NZ 

Commerce Commission 

Consumer NZ 

Standards NZ