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Wyndham City and Kidsafe Victoria Partner to Keep Local Children Safe

WyndhamCityCouncilKidsafe Victoria and Wyndham City have announced a new partnership in a bid to increase community awareness of unintentional childhood injuries and their prevention.

Injury is the leading cause of death for Australian children aged 1-14 years. Every year in Victoria, approximately 19 children aged 0-14 years die and over 100,000 are treated in hospital as a result of unintentional injuries.

The partnership between Wyndham City and Kidsafe Victoria will see the implementation of a range of programs and activities across the next 12 months, including community child car restraint checking sessions, child restraint information sessions and quarterly community awareness campaigns focusing on issues such as children left unattended in cars, driveway safety and backyard pool safety.

Wyndham City’s Family Friendly Portfolio Holder, Cr Mia Shaw, said children’s safety was one of the Council’s top priorities.

“As parents, we all like to think that we take good care of our children. We just want to ensure they are safe wherever they are 24 hours a day,” Cr Shaw said.

“As the holder of the Family Friendly City portfolio holder I’m excited to launch this partnership to raise awareness and spread messages about child injury prevention to all parents, carers and service providers in our community.”

“Given Wyndham’s growth, with more families moving into our City, this is a very important issue that we need to raise awareness of.”

“The campaign will focus on pool safety, not leaving children in cars, child restraint and driveway safety.”

“It will also see an extensive engagement program with our community, including signage, social media, and information sessions.”

Jason Chambers, General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, welcomed the partnership saying that Kidsafe Victoria were proud to be working with Wyndham City to empower the local community.

‘The direct action by Wyndham City is a major step in supporting the local community and the efforts of Kidsafe Victoria to reduce rates of unintentional childhood injury’, said Mr Chambers.

The first activity of the partnership is a free community child restraint checking session which is taking place at the Tarneit Community Open Day on Saturday 25th November. For more information on the event, please visit https://www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/whats-on/tarneit-community-open-day.

 

Pool and Spa Owners Urged to Take Action to Reduce Toddler Drowning Deaths

Olympian Matt Welsh OAM, today joined Kidsafe Australia to help save lives over summer at the launch of Kidsafe’s ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ Pool Party Campaign.

This national, save-the-date campaign calls on all pool and spa owners to sign up to Kidsafe’s pool party event on Facebook and pledge to check the safety of their pool or spa barrier when they change their clocks at the beginning of daylight saving on Sunday October 1.

Figures released last week in the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia’s (RLSSA) National Drowning Report show that in 2016/17, toddler drowning incidents increased by 32%. During this period, 29 Australian children aged 0-4 years drowned. The majority of these drowning incidents (45%) occurred in backyard swimming pools.

While safety barriers can be effective in reducing the risk of drowning incidents, evidence suggests that a large number of drowning deaths are the result of barriers that are faulty, or non-compliant with Australian standards.

“Common faults or non-compliance issues include gates and doors that are no longer self-closing or latching, gates that are propped open and climbable objects near the barrier” said Kidsafe Ambassador Mr Welsh.

SPASA Victoria’s CEO Brendan Watkins reiterated the importance of pool and spa owners conducting an annual check to ensure that their barriers were in proper working order. “Pool and spa barriers tend to wear and tear over time. Rust and damage can prevent gates from self-locking, or ground movement can cause gaps underneath the fence” said Mr Watkins.

With four young children, Matt Welsh understands the risk that swimming pools can pose to kids – as a decorated Australian swimming champion, he also knows the benefits that learning to swim and growing up around water can provide for children.

“There is no better use of 15 minutes of your time than checking the safety of your pool barrier in preparation for the warm summer months ahead. By doing so, you could save a life”, said Mr Welsh.

While pool and spa barriers play an important role in reducing the risk of childhood drowning, Kidsafe is reminding the public that nothing can replace active adult supervision of children in and around water.

“Children drown quickly and silently. Together with a compliant pool barrier, it is important that children are always actively supervised by an adult when in and around water to help keep them safe. For toddlers, this means an adult being within arm’s reach at all times” said Mr Welsh.

“This October 1st, take 15 minutes to check the safety of your pool barrier – because Safe Barriers Save Lives.”

For further information on the campaign and to access resources including Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) home pool safety checklist, please visit kidsafevic.com.au

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Key messages:

  • Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 in Australia, with backyard pools being the most common location for drowning incidents to occur
  • 20 seconds is all it takes for a toddler to drown
  • Simply having a pool/spa barrier in place isn’t enough on its own to keep children safe. A large number of swimming pool drowning incidents are a result of faulty or non-compliant pool/spa barriers
  • Regular maintenance is necessary. It takes approximately 15 minutes to check your barrier thoroughly using LSV’s home pool safety checklist
  • Active adult supervision is the key to keeping children safe around water
  • Need help: Visit com.au

Common issues with pool barriers include:

 

  • Gates and doors that don’t self-latch or self-close
  • Climbable objects near the barrier e.g. pot plants, chairs, pool pumps near the pool barrier which could allow a child to climb over the fence
  • Excess space under the fence, and;
  • Misuse (e.g. propping the pool gate open)

 

Action: All you need to complete the audit is a copy of LSV’s home pool safety checklist and a tape measure.

Almost 500 Victorian Children Treated in Hospital Annually for Farm Injuries

Kidsafe Victoria has launched its 'Staying Safe on the Farm' creative competition aimed at preventing the number of serious injuries on farms, which are responsible for ten children a week being treated in hospital.

The competition is supported by WorkSafe Victoria.

Farm safety creative competition website banner

Kidsafe Victoria General Manager, Jason Chambers said statistics from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit show that in 2015/16, 491 Victorian children aged 0-14 years were treated in hospital for an injury that occurred on a farm.

"Common injury hazards for children on farms include machinery, vehicles (e.g. tractors and motorbikes), animals, water hazards (e.g. dams, rivers, creeks and animal drinking troughs) and poisons (e.g. pesticides)", said Mr Chambers.

"Farms typically combine the family home and an industrial workplace, which means children are exposed to a wide range of hazards that aren't present in urban home environment."

Mr Chambers said that being aware of potential injury hazards and measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk is not only vital for families that live on farms, but also those who are visiting a farm.

Primary school children throughout the State will be asked to turn their creative minds to developing videos, illustrated stories, posters or infographics as part of the statewide community awareness campaign.    

A range of prizes will be awarded to the winners of the competition, with the winning entries also being utilised as part of a statewide farm safety social media awareness campaign.

WorkSafe Executive Director, Health and Safety Marnie Williams said farmers needed to reinforce that safety was a number one priority for people working, living and visiting farms.

"Eight out of a total 15 workplace fatalities in Victoria this year have occurred on farms. Farmers need make sure they manage the risks and set boundaries to protect everyone from harm."

For more information on the competition, including how to enter, please visit https://www.kidsafevic.com.au/home-safety/farm-safety-creative-competition.

 

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