Plun­ket: keep kiwi kids safe this win­ter

Central Leader - - EDUCATION& TRAINING -

With the cold weather now here across the coun­try, Plun­ket is re­mind­ing fam­i­lies to be alert to the dan­gers from heaters, fire­places and other sources of win­ter warmth.

Sue Camp­bell, Plun­ket’s Na­tional Child Safety Ad­vi­sor says keep­ing ba­bies and young chil­dren warm and safe is al­ways a pri­or­ity for fam­i­lies.

‘‘Burns from heaters and fires are a real dan­ger for chil­dren. A fire­guard around your fire or heater, at­tached to the wall so it can’t fall or be moved, will help pro­tect chil­dren from burns,’’ she says.

‘‘We ad­vise par­ents and care­givers to learn and re­mem­ber the ‘heater-me­tre rule’.

‘‘It’s about keep­ing people and any ma­te­ri­als that can burn – in­clud­ing bed­ding, cur­tains, clothes and fur­ni­ture, at least one me­tre from all types of heaters, cook­ers and fires.

‘‘Chil­dren’s win­ter py­ja­mas need to be snug-fit­ting to re­duce fire risk. Re­mem­ber that a la­bel that says ‘low fire dan­ger’ doesn’t mean no fire dan­ger’’.

‘‘Don’t for­get your smoke alarms ei­ther – they save lives.

‘‘En­sure you have good work­ing alarms in ev­ery bed­room, liv­ing area and hall­way, and you test them monthly.’’

Camp­bell says other things can be done to keep chil­dren safe dur­ing the cold win­ter months as well.

‘‘Matches, lighters and can­dles are high risk items. Please use child-re­sis­tant lighters and safety matchbox hold­ers, and store them up high. Teach your chil­dren to go to an adult im­me­di­ately if they find matches and never let chil­dren play with can­dles or be un­su­per­vised in a room with a lit can­dle.

‘‘Win­ter is also the per­fect time for hot soups and drinks to keep us warm. When cook­ing, use the back el­e­ments of the stove when­ever pos­si­ble and turn pot han­dles away from the stove front.

‘‘Hold­ing a young child on your knee as you have a hot drink should be avoided. A cup of hot liq­uid poured over a young child cov­ers the same area as a bucket of hot liq­uid poured over an adult.

‘‘Con­sider us­ing tablemats rather than a table­cloth, chil­dren can pull on them and spill hot drinks over them­selves.

‘‘Take care this win­ter and be alert to the dan­gers for young chil­dren within the home,’’ Camp­bell says.

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