A supplied image obtained Saturday, Dec.19, 2015 of A
A supplied image obtained Saturday, Dec.19, 2015 of A "mermaid tail" pool toy. Parents are being warned of the dangers of a "mermaid tail" pool toy that binds a child's legs and acts like a flipper as they swim. AAP Image - The Shed studio

Parents should be wary of mermaid tails for children

RETAIL authorities have warned consumers about a potentially dangerous children's pool toy that binds legs together.

In the lead-up to Christmas, CHOICE and NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe issued a warning over the weekend about the dangers of mermaid tails after a video from the US showed a little girl getting stuck upside down in her family's backyard pool.

The video showed her using the tail for the first time and her mother rescuing her.

CHOICE media head Tom Godfrey said the toys were not recommended for children aged under six and required adult supervision.

"The video is quite harrowing and should serve as a timely reminder to all parents to be vigilant about water safety," Mr Godfrey said.

He and Mr Stowe said consumers should choose carefully when buying mermaid tails.

Even if a child was a strong swimmer, they said a child could still get into trouble under water.