TV presenter Leila McKinnon has urged people to stop using the word "ranga" because it's offensive.
The Channel 9 host, whose four-year-old son Ted has red hair, has challenged those who use the word saying it's an "ugly term".
She told 9Honey that people constantly stop her to comment on her son's hair and and mention that it's red.
Writing that her son inherited the colouring from his grandmother, she said strangers had told her that if they had a red-haired baby they would flush it down the toilet.
'I'm not overly sensitive but that's a little rude wouldn't you say? If someone, in effect, equated your baby to a turd how would you feel?'
'Is it ok to compare someone to an ape? No, it's not, so let's all ditch the word "ranga" shall we? Generally I love Australianisms but "ranga" is almost always used offensively and it's such an ugly sounding term.'
She encouraged people to comment on a red haired child's eyes or manners or laugh instead.