Australia’s consumer watchdog is investigating a toy sold at Sea World theme park, blamed for placing a six-year-old boy on life support who has been given no chance of surviving.
Deklan Babington-MacDonald is in ICU in Queensland Children’s Hospital. Doctors have told the family his life support will be withdrawn on Friday.
A plush penguin toy on the end of a rod has been blamed for the Anzac Day tragedy.
The seemingly harmless toy had been seized by police, said Deklan’s cousin Lea Williams.
Ms Williams said the toy was purchased from Sea World theme park four days before the accident and called on police to investigate.
Sea World has withdrawn the toy from sale and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is working with Queensland authorities to examine safety issues surrounding the toy.
“The ACCC is always saddened to hear of a death or serious injury or illness of a child involving a consumer product,” an ACCC spokesperson told NCA NewsWire.
“The ACCC is aware of the reports about a SeaWorld plush toy being associated with a tragic incident involving a young boy in Queensland.
“The ACCC is talking with the Queensland authorities investigating the incident to gain further information relevant to progressing our assessment.”
The ACCC spokesperson said any supplier of a toy associated with injury, illness or death was obliged to notify them.
“If a supplier becomes aware of a serious injury, illness or death caused by a product they supply, the supplier must make a mandatory injury report through the Product Safety Australia website,” they said.
“If a supplier finds that a product they supply is unsafe, the ACCC expects the supplier to conduct a voluntary recall to advise consumers of the risk, address the safety issue or remove the product from the market.”
Ms Williams, who helped organise a fundraiser, has been the unofficial spokeswoman of Deklan’s Gold Coast family.
Ms Williams, who lives in Newcastle but has travelled to Brisbane, said she was trying to help the family in the most trying of times.
The fund was set up to assist Deklan’s mum Lauren Babington keep a bedside vigil.
However, the funding, which has surpassed $ 12,200, will be redirected to cover the only child’s funeral costs.
“Thank you for your incredibly generous donations to supporting Deklan fundraising campaign,” Ms Williams said.
“The money is going to go directly to supporting Lauren … it’s just so appreciated, and the support means so much, and devastated doesn’t even begin to describe how the family is right now.
“We are just hoping things will improve because sometimes that is all you can do. It is out of our hands.
“All the support you can give is incredibly appreciated.”
“It was a toy bought from SeaWorld on the Gold Coast,” Ms Williams told NCA NewsWire.
“ … it had a long lead that was made stiff with a pole but the pole came out.
“It broke and turned into basically a long rope with a loop on the end. In a very short amount of time Deklan became entangled.
“The police took it away.”
A Village Roadshow Theme Parks spokesman said the company was “distressed” to learn about Deklan’s tragic accident.
“We need to understand the circumstances around what has occurred and will be fully co-operating with any investigation,” the spokesman said.
“As our number one priority is always health and safety, we have removed the toy in question from sale at this time.
“We will also be reaching out to Deklan’s family to offer support … We will not be making any further comment until all the facts are known.”
The family of Deklan Babington-MacDonald are “angry” over the mishap and have called on police to investigate the incident and the safety of the toy.