Apple AirTags feared to be a child safety hazard, pulled from Australian retailer

The new Apple AirTags are tiny—the size of a coin and smaller than other Tags in the market. So it makes sense that the item would be considered a possible child safety hazard, and it has already been temporarily pulled from Australian retailer Officeworks awaiting further guidance.

“The Apple AirTag range will temporarily be unavailable from purchase from Officeworks… Officeworks continues to work with Apple to address any safety concerns,” said the retailer.

The Apple AirTags aim to help users track and locate everything from keys to bags and jackets—utilising the Find My… function for your other Apple devices. It is powered by a user replaceable CR2032 battery, which is said to be able to last more than a year with everyday use. 

However, the CR2032 battery can easily be removed by pressing on one side of the tag and twisting the lid counterclockwise. There is no screw to keep the battery compartment shut. This factor, besides its small size, are reasons to why it might have been pulled from Officeworks.

In Australia, an estimated 20 children per week turn up at hospital emergency departments with suspected button battery ingestions. Up to two dozen children per year end up with serious, lifelong injuries.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said that they are “urgently engaging with Apple”. But Apple says its AirTag range complies with Australian child safety standards.

“AirTag is designed to meet international child safety standards, including those in Australia, by requiring a two-step push-and-turn mechanism to access the user-replaceable battery,” an Apple spokesperson said, “We are following the regulations closely and are working to ensure that our products will meet or exceed new standards, including those for package labelling, well ahead of the timeline required.”

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The Apple AirTag has also sparked controversy over a lack of a key ring hole. This means that users would also be encouraged to purchase an extra AirTag loop, which costs as much as the actual AirTag. However, iFixit has found a cheaper solution… drilling a hole into one.

The AirTag costs RM149 in Malaysia and it is still listed as coming soon on the online Apple Store.


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Dzamira Dzafri