Stay safe with sum­mer fun ac­tiv­i­ties

The Advocate (Perth) - - WHAT’S ON - With Act­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard

WITH the hol­i­days well un­der­way, we re­mind all par­ents and car­ers to be aware of po­ten­tial haz­ards fac­ing chil­dren, in­clud­ing those from seem­ingly harm­less prod­ucts or ac­tiv­i­ties.

Chil­dren’s en­er­getic and ad­ven­tur­ous play can also see an in­crease in the risk of ac­ci­dents.

So make sure your fam­ily has not in­ad­ver­tently given, or re­ceived, re­called or banned prod­ucts as gifts dur­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod be­cause they could cause se­ri­ous in­juries. Toys and other prod­ucts have been as­so­ci­ated with chok­ing and in­ges­tion haz­ards in young chil­dren, which can lead to ill­ness and even death.

Many city-based chil­dren also visit rel­a­tives or friends on farms dur­ing the hol­i­days but may not know how to use some farm equip­ment, such as quad bikes, or ap­pre­ci­ate the po­ten­tial dan­ger posed by farm ma­chin­ery.

Safety is­sues to be aware of at home and when away on hol­i­days in­clude:

Toys: check they are age ap­pro­pri­ate and do not pose chok­ing haz­ards. Par­tic­u­larly be wary of items con­tain­ing but­ton bat­ter­ies. These bat­ter­ies are in com­mon house­hold items in­clud­ing re­mote con­trols, dec­o­ra­tions and nov­el­ties. If swal­lowed by a young child, the bat­tery can be­come stuck and burn through soft tis­sue in just two hours, caus­ing se­ri­ous in­juries or death. If you sus­pect a child has swal­lowed a but­ton bat­tery, im­me­di­ately call the Poi­sons In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre on 13 11 26.

Fur­ni­ture: top­pling fur­ni­ture and tele­vi­sions kill at least one child ev­ery year. An es­ti­mated 2600 Aus­tralians re­ceive hos­pi­tal treat­ment an­nu­ally for in­juries caused by fur­ni­ture and tele­vi­sions. Check each room of your house or hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion to iden­tify the risks.

Blind and cur­tain cords: these can pose a stran­gu­la­tion hazard for chil­dren, with at least one death oc­cur­ring each year. Cords should be se­cured with ten­sion­ers or wall cleats.

In­flat­able and por­ta­ble pool: these present a dan­ger as they are not usu­ally fenced and may not be emp­tied af­ter use. Pool fenc­ing laws ap­ply to pools, in­clud­ing por­ta­ble pools that are 300mm deep or more.

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