March 30, 2021
Easter holiday warning as preventable child deaths continue to increase

Easter holiday warning as preventable child deaths continue to increase

[Pictured: Hunter – 2 year old drowning at Grahamvale 12 August 2020]

150% increase between July – Dec 2020 compared to the same period in 2019

With the Easter school holidays approaching, Kidsafe Victoria has issued an urgent reminder to families to address the devastating increase of preventable child deaths.

The call comes in response to concerning statistics from the Coroners Court of Victoria which show that during the period from July – December 2020, 25 children aged 0-14 years died as a result of preventable injuries in Victoria – a 150% increase in comparison to the same period in 2019.

During the 6 month period, childhood injury deaths included incidents involving vehicles such as motorbikes and quad bikes, driveway runovers, strangulation from a curtain and blind cord and drownings in many different bodies of water, including a fishpond and a pet bowl.

Melanie Courtney, CEO of Kidsafe Victoria, highlighted the importance of implementing strategies to help keep children safe, particularly in our homes which are the most common location where children are injured.

“It’s heartbreaking to see such a dramatic rise in unintentional injury deaths – our thoughts are with the families during this difficult period.”

“Children are naturally inquisitive and love to explore, however they don’t yet understand the danger that many hazards can pose. All it takes is a split second for children to get into trouble and that split second can be life changing”, said Ms Courtney.

With the Easter and school holidays traditionally a time for gatherings – often around backyard campfires – and family trips, Kidsafe Victoria is urging all families to undertake a safety check – including a check of holiday homes, caravans/camping setups and grandparent’s houses – to help keep kids safe.

“When checking for hazards, it’s a good idea to get down low – at your child’s level – to look at the environment from their perspective”, Ms Courtney said.

“Active adult supervision, in combination with practical measures such as storing poisons and choking hazards out of reach and establishing safe play areas away from water, vehicle and burn or scald hazards, are some examples of how we can all help to reduce the risk of injury for children.”

Kidsafe Victoria has released a free home and farm safety checklist to help families identify common injury hazards and decide on the most effective methods to reduce the risk.

For more information on childhood injury prevention, please visit


Hunter Boyle drowning incident

On 12 August 2020, Ash Napolitano and Matt Boyle lost their beautiful 2-year-old boy, Hunter. Tragically, he drowned in a Grahamvale dam while visiting his Grandfather’s farm. He was feeding the horses, when in an instant he went missing and was found unresponsive in the water a short time later.

Hunter was rushed to Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton where doctors, nurses and members of The Royal Children’s Hospital PIPER Unit spent close to seven hours fighting to save his life.