With Victorian’s spending more time at home as we all practice social distancing due to COVID-19 , Kidsafe Victoria has called on all families to undertake a safety check to help ensure that their homes are ‘Kidsafe’.
Every year In Victoria, over 100,000 children aged 0-14 years are treated in hospital as a result of unintentional injuries – the kind often referred to as ‘accidents‘. The home is the most common location where these injuries occur.
Jason Chambers, General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, highlighted the importance of putting some simple strategies in place to help reduce the risk of childhood injuries, particularly with families spending more time at home and many parents trying to juggle looking after their children with working from home arrangements.
‘Our homes are places that we feel safe and secure, however, like many environments in our world, they are often built and designed with adults in mind. This means there can be a range of potential injury hazards for children.’
It’s important that all families take the time to carry out a check for common injury hazards, to help ensure that their homes are safe places for children to live, learn and play’, said Mr Chambers. .
Kidsafe Victoria has a range of useful resources to help parents and carers identify and deal with common injury hazards in and around their homes, including their ‘Home Safety Checklist’ and ‘Parent’s Guide to Kidsafe Homes’ booklet.
“We encourage all families to download our free resources and make the time to go through a check of their homes. You can also turn this into a fun family activity by involving older children in undertaking the safety checklist with you. This helps them become aware of hazards to take note of and actions we can take to help keep us safe”, said Mr Chambers.
Top tips for making your home ‘Kidsafe’
- Spot the hazards
Get down on your hands and knees and look at your house from your child’s perspective. You can download and print our Home Safety Checklist to help you identify potential hazards within your home and backyard.
- Decide how to deal with the hazard
Depending on the hazard, this may involve removing the hazard or installing barriers to restrict children’s access to the hazard. It’s important that safety devices are never relied upon on their own to keep children safe and are always combined with appropriate supervision.
- Make the changes
Act immediately – children are not protected until the changes have been made.
Some hazards that parents and carers may not be as aware of
- Items like button batteries and powerful magnets – both of which can cause severe injuries and even death if ingested
- Loose curtain and blind cords which can pose a strangulation hazard
- Unsecured televisions or furniture such as drawers and bookshelves, which could tip on to a child
- Medications such as paracetamol and cold/flu substances, household cleaners and disinfectants – all of which pose a poisoning hazard
- Buckets filled with water, eskys with melted ice and pet drinking bowls – all of which can all pose a drowning hazard for toddlers
For more information and advice on home safety, please visit www.kidsafevic.com.au/home-safety/.
Jason Chambers, General Manager, Kidsafe Victoria – Mobile: 0431 447 982