May 29, 2020
Kidsafe Victoria E-News May 2020

May ticks off another busy month for the Kidsafe team, who have been continuing to work remotely to ensure families are kept up to date with the latest safety information and advice. Sadly, there have been a number of child injury related stories in the media this month, some of which we have shared in this edition.

This month we pose the question ‘what is under your sink?’ as we focus on the dangers of poisonous products and provide a timely reminder about the importance of safe storage. We also have some information on responsible pet ownership now that many families have a new ‘iso’ pet for companionship and a guest blog from the CFA’s Captain Koala, who has some great tips to become a fire-safe koala like him.

It is also very exciting to announce the recommencement this week of our Safe Seat, Safe Kids free child car restraint checking and fitting program,in a modified format.

Hopefully next month will be a little brighter, with restrictions easing and kids starting back at school. Stay safe and positive and keep in touch by visiting our Facebook page and website!

What toxic dangers are lurking under your home sinks?
22 Victorian Children Treated in Hospital Due to Poisoning Every Week

Poisoning children

When was the last time you had a clean out or did an audit of what you have stored in the cupboards underneath your sinks? Whether it is dishwashing detergents in the kitchen, bleach in the laundry or medications in the bathroom, chances are you have some potentially poisonous items stored away in these cupboards that could be easily accessible to children.

Statistics from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU) show that in 2018/19, 1,174 Victorian children aged 0-14 years were treated in hospital due to poisoning – approximately 22 per week.Thousands more Victorian children are exposed to poisonous substances each year. In 2018 alone, the Victorian Poisons Information Centre received 18,427 calls – approximately 50 per day – relating to the exposure of a poisonous substance involving children aged 0-14 years.

Toddlers are at increased risk of poisoning due to their natural curiosity and lack of awareness of danger. They explore their world by putting things in their mouths, no matter how disgusting those things may seem to us! They are attracted to the bright colours or fruity scents of many cleaning products and the similarities between the look of some poisonous products and lollies, however they don’t yet understand the difference between what is safe and dangerous.

While families are spending more time isolating at home, now is the time for parents to conduct an audit and put in place strategies to restrict children’s access to potentially poisonous products. We have listed a few handy prevention and first aid tips to help you below.

Poisoning prevention and first aid tips:

  • • Store all poisonous products up high out of the sight and reach of children, in a locked cupboard at least 1.5m off the ground.
  • • Make sure poisons are always put back in their safe storage spot after being used
  • • Always leave poisons in their original containers and never in old soft drink or juice bottles, as this can confuse children.
  • • Remember that child resistant caps aren’t child proof. They are made to be difficult for children to open, but not impossible, so these products still need to be stored in a safe place
  • • If you think a child has ingested a poison, never try to induce vomiting. Phone the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week Australia wide). They will advise you of what to do next.
  • • If the patient has collapsed, stopped breathing, is fitting or suffering an anaphylactic reaction, ring 000 for an ambulance.

For more information read our news article or visit

Have you recently adopted an ‘iso’ pet?
Purrrrrfect timing to share some responsible pet ownership tips

You may be one of the many Victorians families who have recently adopted or fostered pets for company since the COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, or perhaps you were lucky enough to have a furry friend at home already. Regardless of how recently your pet bounded into your life, there are key aspects to consider to help ensure that children and animals can interact safely together.

Children love, enjoy close relationships with and learn valuable life lessons from animals and pets. However, they are at increased risk of injury for a number of reasons, including their size and lack of understanding of how to behave around animals.

There are some simple things that you can do to help ensure your family and pets can live harmoniously together:

  • • Always closely supervise children near animals, including pets. If this is not possible, then separate them.
  • • Separate children and animals during feeding and sleeping times – this is both when the kids are eating or sleeping and when the pet is eating or sleeping.
  • • Be mindful of animals when you are visiting friends and relatives.
  • • As your children grow, it is important to teach them how to safely approach and interact with animals, as well as warning signs to look out for.
  • • Always wash your hands after touching animals, their food bowls, toys, bedding, etc.

We would love to see photos of your family and pets playing safely together supervised with an adult – Why not share them on our Facebook page.
For more information and advice on animal and pet safety, take a look at the resources from the Responsible Pet Ownership Program and the Better Health Channel.

Child Injuries in the Spotlight – What Made the News this Month?

This month has seen a number serious unintentional child injuries reported in the media, including emergency surgeries for magnet and button battery ingestions, two fatal farm accidents and a driveway run over. These incidents provide a tragic reminder about just how quickly childhood injuries can occur.

Ball Bearing Magnet Ingestion (7news)
Melbourne toddler Imogen needed emergency surgery at Monash Children’s Hospital this month after she swallowed 32 small “ball-bearing-style” magnets
>See Article

Emergency surgery after swallowing a button battery (Kidspot)
Sydney toddler Mila spent a fortnight in the intensive care unit after she swallowed a button battery
>See Article

Farm Tragedies (Channel 7)
Two seperate farm related accidents tragically claimed the lives of two boys in the Geelong region.
>See Article

Home Gym Equipment Safety Warning (Herald Sun)

The increase in people purchasing and using home exercise equipment, coupled with children spending more time at home, has sparked warnings for parents to keep kids safe
>See Article

2020 National Playspace Design Awards

The 2020 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards are now live!

The awards recognise excellence and innovation in the provision of safe, creative playspaces that promote best practice play facilities that encourage healthy participation in recreational activities for all users.

Entries are open to playground owners and design professionals across Australia. This is a great opportunity to showcase playspace design in action!

For more information or to view the entry guide click here.



‘Safe Seats, Safe Kids’ Program Recommencement

After a positive start to the program in February, all free child car restraint checking and fitting events were regrettably suspended from early March due to COVID-19 restrictions.  We are excited to announce that the program has now recommenced on a temporarily smaller scale!

As part of the alternate service delivery option which has been developed in line with Government directions, dedicated Neighbourhood House venues will be hosting the program on certain days as a 1:1 fitting and safety check service.

Bookings are essential. For more information about how the revised service will be coordinated and to view, book or register for available events, please visit the ‘Safe Seats, Safe Kids’ website.

Kids, You Can Be a Fire-Safe Koala Like Me

Captain in Koala Shares Tips & Advice to Help Protect Your Family

Captain Koala is the Country Fire Associations (CFA) very own mascot. In between attending fires and chomping down on gum leaves he teaches kids about fire safety. Captain Koala had a busy summer, but wants to re mind kids to be fire-safe all year round. 

Captain Koala has put together a list you can use to become a fire-safe koala like him and help protect your own family.

>Read Guest Blog



June is National Burns Awareness Month
Keep updated on our Facebook and Twitter 

National Burns Awareness Month is an initiative of Kidsafe Australia and aims to drive greater awareness of burns prevention and the correct first aid treatment for burns throughout Australia.

We have a range of resources available including BurnSafe online sessions and activity sheets for kids, a Burns Safety Checklist for parents and carers, a Community Awareness Kit for community organisations and much more! Visit the Kidsafe Australia website to access all of the resources and keep updated throughout the month over on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Product Recalls

Kmart Australia Ltd — Solid and Filled Egg Bag 360g and Filled Caramel Egg Bag 160g

The recall is due to the potential presence of plastic that may cause injury if consumed.
For further information, please click here.



Decathlon (Australia) Pty Ltd — Baby Seat 100 B-CLIP Bicycle Baby Carrier

The connection point between the seat’s plastic shell and the buckle may break.

The child may not not be adequately restrained and there is a risk of the child falling from the child restraint, resulting in serious injury.
For further information, please click here.