Safety checks still needed on holidays
with Acting Consumer Protection Commissioner
THE holiday season is in full swing and many families will be travelling and staying in short-stay accommodation, which could pose a danger to children if safety standards are ignored.
While parents will ensure their home is safe, the same vigilance may not be applied when on holidays, so it is important that travellers with young children are aware of the safety requirements relating to bunk beds, curtain or blind cords, spas and heavy furniture and appliances.
We recommend that a quick check is made when arriving at the accommodation to ensure certain safeguards.
Generally, we recommend avoiding accommodation with bunk beds in preference for single beds. If this is not possible, ensure the top bunk has a guardrail, there are no gaps that could trap a child’s head, the ladder is secure and ceiling fans are at least two metres from the top bunk.
Children under the age of nine should sleep only on the bottom bunk and try to prevent any jumping or playing on the beds.
If you are hiring a cot, check it complies with the Australian standard and make sure that the sides and ends are fully locked while the cot is in use.
Curtain and blind cords can and do kill children who can be strangled when they become entangled in looped cords. This tragic outcome can be avoided if the cords are more than 1.6 metres from the floor and secured to the wall with a cleat or tensioning device.
Check to make sure there are no long, loose cords in your accommodation and that couches, beds and cots are not close enough to the cord for young children to reach it.
If there is a spa, children should be supervised.
Visit www.productsafety. gov.au for more safety advice.