December 18, 2020
Kidsafe Victoria E-News December 2020

It’s hard to believe it’s already Christmas. I want to thank everyone who has supported us during what has been a challenging year. I also want to acknowledge my incredible team – some who until a week ago had never met – who have adapted to every situation thrown at them and worked tirelessly to prevent more families from being forever impacted by childhood injury.

To Allison Rees, Bella’s Mum, thank you for sharing your story with us – our thoughts are with you and all of the families who are without their angels over the difficult Christmas period.

Let’s support each other to keep kids safe this holiday period. Please be vigilant in a time where routines are disrupted and there may be different visitors to the home. Remember, it takes just a few centimetres and 20 seconds for a toddler to drown so be aware of any bodies of water near you – including buckets, eskies and pet bowls – and always designate a supervisor around pools/ beaches or other high-risk areas. When moving vehicles, ensure someone is with the children to avoid driveway runovers – you can read more tips for a safe holiday below.

Our office will be closed from Dec 21st – Jan 4th, but you can still engage with us via our social media channels. On behalf of the Kidsafe Victoria team, wishing you and yours a very safe and happy holiday season.

Water Safety Week – 34 Victorians Drowned in 2019/20

On Tuesday 1st December, Life Saving Victoria and the Play it Safe by the Water Committee launched Water Safety Week 2020 – an annual event which is held to increase awareness of safety in and around water for all Victorians.

As part of the launch, Life Saving Victoria released their annual Victorian Drowning Report which revealed that 34 Victorians fatally drowned in 2019/2020.

For the first time in 20 years there were no drowning deaths recorded among children aged 0-4 years in Victoria. Tragically however, there has been an alarming spike in drownings since then, with five toddlers losing their lives in drowning incidents since July alone – providing a stark reminder to all parents and carers to be extra vigilant around water this summer.

The 2019/2020 report also highlighted that children aged 0-14 continue to be over-represented in Victorian drowning statistics when considering both non-fatal and fatal drowning incidents.

As part of our Safe Barriers Save Lives backyard pool safety campaign, we are encouraging all families to ensure their ‘home pool defence’ is set to help keep children safe this summer, particularly given many children have missed out on swimming lessons throughout the year. Together with a compliant pool barrier which is regularly checked and maintained, your home pool defence should include active supervision of children in and around water, CPR/first aid knowledge and water awareness.

For information and advice on how to help keep your family safe in and around the water this summer, please visit


Life Without Bella

[Pictured: Allison giving 14-month-old Bella a kiss]

At this time of year, when so many of us are looking forward to enjoying the holidays and gathering with friends and family; there is a heavy cloud over Allison’s home.

“It’s tough. It’s always tough and emotional. Another year without Bella – wondering what she would look like, sound like and how beautiful it would be to see all my kids celebrating and having fun together.”

“I miss holding her, seeing her beautiful smile and hearing her voice.”

Read more about Allison and her journey after losing Bella to a button battery ingestion at just 14-months of age, as well as our 5 tips to enjoy toys safely this Christmas, in this month’s blog.


Summer Holiday Safety

2020 has been a year like no other. With Victoria beginning to return to a level of normality, many of us will be looking forward to gatherings with family and friends and maybe even taking a trip these summer holidays.

We know how hectic this time of year can be, so we have taken the time to pull together a list of our essential summer safety tips to help you keep your family safe this silly season.

Essential Summer Safety Tips

  • Whether you are heading off on a long road trip or popping around the corner to the local shops, always ensure your children are seated in a child car restraint that is correct for their size/age, correctly installed into the vehicle and adjusted to fit them properly.
  • Driveways are busy places with visitors coming and going over the holidays – always Supervise, Separate and See to help keep your driveway Kidsafe.
  • Never leave children unattended in cars – the temperature inside a parked car can be 20-30 degrees hotter than outside.
  • Ensure that children are actively supervised by an adult at all times when in or around water. For toddlers, this means having an adult within arm’s reach. Toddlers can drown in as little as a few cm of water which means that as well as pools/spas, dams and the beach, items including eskys with melted ice, portable pools, ponds and even pet’s water bowls, can all pose a drowning hazard.
  • Check your home for button batteries, including any items you or your children may have received for Christmas.
  • Always use appropriate safety gear when riding wheeled devices, including helmets, wrist guards, knee and elbow pads.
  • When heading outdoors, always remember to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide!
  • Have Fun!


Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards

The Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards showcase innovative and inspirational playspaces, and most importantly, recognise the provision of safe and best practice play facilities for children.

This year, the 5 Victorian entries represented not only excellence in design, but also a renewed appreciation for outdoor recreation spaces following a prolonged lockdown. Eltham North Adventure Playground took out the top prize in the Public Playspaces $1 million – $3 million category, tackling the re-design of a beloved woolshed-inspired undercover playground that was sadly destroyed in a fire in 2017.

Designed by Jeavons Landscape Architects and Gardner Architects, and constructed by Naturform, the design is based on the previous playground while incorporating new design elements. The new playground aims to engage play, adventure and inclusion across all activity and ability levels, blending safe outdoor play with environmental consideration and holistic design approaches. Working in close collaboration with the surrounding community and Nillumbik Shire Council, the Eltham North Adventure Playground is well deserving of its accolade and will continue to provide joy to little ones for years to come.

View all of the Kidsafe National Playspace Design Award recipients here


What’s In The News

MamaMagFamilies Urged to Keep Backyard Pool Safety at the Top of their Holiday Checklist
Shepparton NewsKnight Street Kids Wash Cars for Hunter Boyle Swim Program
Shepparton NewsFundraiser for Hunter Boyle Swim Program
The Herald SunWhy Boho Nurseries Have Sparked Safety Concerns
National TribuneStudents’ Creative Approach Spreads Farm Safety Message
Sheep Central Victorian Primary Students Lauded for Farm Safety Tips
Child Mags12 Australian Children Aged 0-4 Years of Age Drowned Last Year


Product Recalls



Kmart Australia Ltd – ANKO Gravity Bouncer

There is a possibility that the locking mechanism can be damaged when folding the product. possibly causing the product to collapse and potentially injure a child.

For more information please click here.



Sunnylife Group Pty Ltd — Croc Family Bath Toys with & without squeaker

The smaller crocodiles in the squeaking and non-squeaking varieties of these bath toy sets may pose a choking or suffocation hazard if a young child puts one in their mouth.

For more information please click here.