Air lounger drowning risk

woman lying on inflatable air lounger 

Just because it floats, doesn’t mean it should.

Inflatable air loungers – fabric tubes that inflate to form a lounge or bed – have become popular in recent years and are mostly used as sun lounges at the beach or outdoor locations. However, Consumer Protection WA has issued a warning to owners of these popular items not to use them in water as they can pose a serious drowning risk.

The loungers, which are also known as lazy bags and air sofas among other names, are often purchased online and from overseas suppliers. Consumers have reported that the items have arrived without any instructions, safety labels or warnings.

The warning from Consumer Protection comes after two reported incidents in Victoria and New South Wales of dangerous non-fatal drownings involving the loungers. In both incidents, the fabric cover split without warning and engulfed the user, while the inflatable portion shot upwards forcing the person under water with their face completely covered.

Consumer Protection warns that there are serious safety concerns if these products are used in the pool, rivers or even the ocean. “While some retailers selling this product may suggest they can be used as flotation devices on water, we believe there may be a risk of unexpected deflation and recommend that they are only used on dry land.”

An investigation by product safety regulators has been launched into the dangers of the product. “Until further investigations are carried out and as a precautionary measure, we urge owners of these inflatable air loungers not to use them in water. Adults are advised to take steps to remove inflatable air loungers from locations in or around water including pools and to ensure they are not used by children as flotation devices.”

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