Urgent warning over 'life-threatening' AFL grand final issue

A 50-50 split image shows the LED wristband that has been recalled, and the crowd at the grand final.
Light-up LED wristbands handed out to fans at the AFL grand final are now subject to a safety recall. Pictures: Facebook/Getty Images

Fans who attended last weekend’s AFL grand final have been urged to throw out light-up LED wristbands that were handed out at the Gabba due to safety concerns.

The wristbands lit up during the half-time performance by Sheppard, but have since been found to be a significant choking hazard by Product Safety Australia, who have issued a recall.

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The recall is based on fears children could easily access and swallow the small button battery powering the wristbands.

“The battery compartment of the wristband is not adequately secured and the button batteries in the product are easily accessible,” a statement on the Product Safety Australia website read.

“If young children gain access to the button batteries and ingest them, they may suffer internal burn injuries, which can result in serious illness and even death. In addition, the batteries may pose a choking hazard to young children.

“Consumers who received a free promotional wristband should immediately dispose of the wristband by placing it in an outside household rubbish bin, out of reach of children.”

The ACCC also issued an alert to patrons to dispose of the wristbands, with a text message also sent to ticket holders.

Similar wristbands have been used during concerts by the likes of Taylor Swift and Coldplay.

Kidsafe Queensland also issued a warning about how easily the wristbands could be dismantled.

“A shocked emergency paediatrician took just two seconds to expose the batteries, which, if swallowed by children can burn through tissues within hours,” they posted on Facebook.

“Warn others. Share with anyone you know who attended the game to immediately dispose of the bands in the bin. Do not expose the batteries.”

Kidsafe Queensland chief executive Susan Teerds told ABC News she was stunned the ‘life-threatening’ devices were still so widely used.

“I still can’t believe that marketing people think that these useless little flashing devices are appropriate to put out into the public space where they could cause the death or serious injury of a child,” she said.

“If you consider there might have been 30,000 attendees … that’s 60,000 batteries that are killers, out in the public.

“If you know anybody who attended the AFL grand final you need to contact them immediately because this is a very urgent, life-threatening situation.”

Outspoken AFL president to remain in power

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has been re-elected for another three-year term and he has flagged a more hands-on role for their AFL coach Alastair Clarkson.

Kennett announced in February that he would stand down at the end of 2020 but he changed his mind in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A former premier of Victoria, Kennett was Hawthorn president from 2005 to 2011 before his return in 2017 - with his re-election to keep him at the club until until at least the end of the 2023 season.

Hawthorn Hawks president Jeff Kennett is pictured.
Jeff Kennett has announced he will remain president of the Hawthorn Hawks, despite speculation he could step down. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

"I know not everything I say and do pleases everyone, but we are a collegiate board that has and will continue to deliver in the club's best interest," Kennett wrote to the club's fans.

"No one individual is more important than another."

Clarkson and Kennett's relationship has been frosty at times and the spotlight will be squarely on them if Hawthorn struggle next year.

The veteran coach has two more years to run on his contract but the pressure is mounting after Hawthorn crashed to 15th this year with a 5-12 record.

With AAP

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