Safety checks still needed on hol­i­days

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

with Act­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner

David Hill­yard

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.

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