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Brand Quad Bikes with Safety Message for Children Under 16


Kidsafe Victoria today called for all quad bikes to carry a highly visible warning that children under 16 should not be driving or riding on the vehicles as passengers.

It would then become illegal to import or sell quad bikes without the warnings in place.

Parents are currently putting their children’s lives at risk by ignoring the mounting evidence of injury and deaths resulting for quad bike activity mainly on private land.

The renewed calls follow an article in the Australian Medical Journal again detailing the deaths and major injuries to children in Australia related to quad bikes.

Robert Caulfield, President of Kidsafe Victoria said, "The branding of the Quad Bikes with warnings should become part of a national community awareness campaign to stem the number of deaths and injuries of children involved with the quad bikes."

During the period between July 2000 – June 2009 there were 27 deaths of children aged 0-15 years in Australia associated with quad bikes. According to a Victorian Coroners Report, in Victoria alone, four children have died on quad bikes since 2009; three of these were aged between 10 and 14 years.

Mr Caulfield said that while quad bikes have become a major and useful vehicle in agriculture, they have also become a danger to children.

He said 'It's important that parent's recognise the imminent danger they present to young children if they allow them to ride quad bikes as a recreational vehicle or while doing farm work."  

"Like all community awareness programs, it is important to have the Safety Message up front and centre. The inclusion of prominent signage on the quad bike would be a constant reminder that they are not suitable for use of children under sixteen." said Mr Caulfield.



Button Batteries - Death and Injury Warning to Parents

In Australia, an estimated 4 children per week present to an emergency department with an injury related to a button battery. 

Kidsafe Victoria has issued a warning to parents over the dangers posed by button batteries following the death of a four year old Queensland girl.

Robert Caulfield, President of Kidsafe Victoria, said that button batteries pose a severe and little known risk to children. The batteries are often ‘invisible’ to adults, as many devices come with the batteries already installed.

Mr Caulfield noted that button batteries can be found in many common household items including remote controls, household electronic devices, car key, toys, cameras, bathroom scales, musical cards, computer accessories and wrist watches.  

Mr Caulfield said “If swallowed, these coin sized batteries can get stuck in a child’s throat – the chemical reaction between saliva and the battery causes an electrical current which can burn through the oesophagus in as little as two hours, causing severe and life threatening injuries.

Mr Caulfield noted the difficulty in diagnosing a child who has swallowed a button battery, stating that “Symptoms of ingestion may be similar to other common childhood illnesses, including coughing, drooling and discomfort.”

Kidsafe Victoria has highlighted the importance of safe storage and safe disposal of batteries to reduce the risk to children.

The ‘Battery Controlled Campaign’ was launched in Australia in 2012 by Kidsafe and the ACCC to raise awareness of button battery related injuries- more information can be found at www.thebatterycontrolled.com.au

Kidsafe’s top tips for keeping children safe around batteries:

  • Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure.
  • Keep coin-sized button batteries and devices out of sight and out of reach of small children.
  • Dispose of old button batteries immediately.
  • If swallowing of a button battery is suspected, go to the emergency room immediately.
  • Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for additional treatment information.
  • Tell others about this threat and share these steps.

Button batteries are found in everyday devices, including in:

  • Remote control devices e.g. ones that unlock car doors and control MP3 speakers
  • Calculators
  • Hearing aides
  • Bathroom scales
  • Reading lights
  • Flameless candles
  • Talking and singing books and greeting cards.

More information on the dangers posed by button batteries can be found at http://www.kidsafe.com.au/hot-topic.html


Sesame Street's Elmo and Grover keeping kids safe in Australian road safety campaign

Sesame Workshop, Kidsafe, TAC, RACV and Holden unite to launch major road safety initiative

Pedestrian and driveway incidents, major causes of serious injury and death in young children, will be targeted in a new major road safety campaign as part of the UN's Decade of Action for Road Safety. Spearheaded by Sesame Street's Elmo and Grover, the campaign will be launched this morning at Federation Square in Melbourne.