Children are naturally curious and often don’t recognise danger- in fact, more often than not, they seem to actively seek it!
There is a lot of advice around how to keep our kids from getting into sticky situations. Some of the advice is helpful, some is funny and some is just completely untrue. So we thought we’d help you separate fact from fiction with our first blog.
Here are 5 of the most common child safety myths:
Myth 1. Kids are going to get hurt, you can’t stop it from happening.
It is true, kids are going to take risks and cuts and scrapes are a part of growing up. However, a serious unintentional injury is very different from a scraped knee.
In Victoria alone, approximately 19 children die due to unintentional injuries every year.
These serious injuries are preventable – and we hope that we can provide you with some useful strategies to keep your child safe.
Myth 2. Drowning is noisy.
We’ve all seen the movies where a person who is drowning waves their arms frantically and calls for help.
The truth is- drowning is actually silent.
A toddler who is drowning is unlikely to cry out or wave their arms around. They can swallow water and drown in just 20 seconds (read one Mother’s story of just how fast children can get into trouble in the water).
Figure Source: Pixabay.com
Drowning is quick and silent, so make sure children are always within arm’s reach and that you never take your eyes off children around water.
Myth 3. Age is the best indicator of when to move your child into their next child car restraint
It is a common misconception that a child should move to the next child car restraint / seat belt once they reach a certain age- but did you know that it is safer for children to remain in their current restraint for as long as they fit its size limit? This includes leaving children in booster seats for as long as possible, even if they are over 7 years old.
All new child restraints come with shoulder height markers that show exactly when a child is able to progress to the next restraint.
Children should only move to the next restraint once they exceed the maximum height limit, not just because they have celebrated a birthday.
For more information, please read the National Child Restraint Guidelines
Myth 4. Reversing sensors and cameras eliminate the risk of driveway run-overs
All cars have a blind spot and while reversing cameras are useful in providing greater visibility, they don’t eliminate this blind spot completely. It still may be difficult to notice a small child behind the car.
Children can also move surprisingly fast and find themselves in dangerous situations. Recently, a Perth toddler was tragically killed in driveway run-over incident. The car was fitted with reversing sensors.
It is important that we don’t become complacent when using proximity sensors, as there is no substitute for active, adult supervision.
Myth 5. Poisons with child proof caps can only be opened by an adult
The caps on medication bottles and some cleaning products are designed to be difficult for children to open – but not impossible. In fact, adults often find them harder to open than toddlers, who can often defeat the lid by using their mouths. Keep in mind that these caps are child resistant, not child proof, therefore all medications and cleaning products need to be kept at least 1.5 metres off the ground in a locked cupboard. For more tips to prevent poisoning, click here.
Is there another common child safety myth that we have missed? Let us know in the comments below.
Kidsafe Victoria is part of the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia. We are a non-profit organisation dedicated to making a safer world for kids. To find out more about what we do, check out our website: www.kidsafevic.com.au