October 27, 2020
Kidsafe Victoria E-News October 2020

I know I was one of many parents/ carers to breathe a collective sigh of relief with children under the age of 12 returning to childcare, kinder and school this month.

With some sunshine coming through, it’s a great time to be able to walk to school with your kids. Make sure you use the opportunity to teach your kids to ‘stop, look, listen and think’ as you walk, so that they can learn to navigate traffic and safety issues long before they are ready to travel independently to school.

This October 27th marks National Kidsafe Day as part of global Children’s Week celebrations. Life altering injuries can occur in just a split second, but they are preventable. We are focusing on the importance of securing curtain and blind cords, with two children aged 3 and 4 tragically losing their lives from separate incidents in the last 12 months. It takes less than $20 and 10 minutes to secure your curtain and blind cords – don’t put this off for another minute, take action today.

And if you are a pool or spa owner, don’t forget the deadline for registering with your local council is Nov 1st!


National Kidsafe Day – Tuesday 27th October

‘It Only Takes a Split Second’

Today is National Kidsafe Day, a special awareness day where we are reminding parents and carers that it only takes a split second for a child to be seriously injured from unintentional injuries, often referred to as ‘accidents’.

Since Kidsafe’s beginnings over 40 years ago, the number of Australian children killed by unintentional injury has reduced from 700 to just over 150 per year. Although this is amazing progress, there is still work to be done, as it is still an average of 3 children dying every week from preventable injuries in Australia.

These are not just statistics – they are three beautiful, previously healthy children, who in a split second, have had their lives taken away. The long term consequences of such a loss are immeasurable – to family, to friends and to the community.

Kidsafe Victoria CEO, Melanie Courtney, highlighted that children’s curiosity and lack of awareness of danger places them at increased risk of injury.

“This year has been like no other, keeping safety front of mind and ensuring there are a number of key safety measures in place – including active adult supervision – can help to prevent a child from losing their life or suffering a serious injury” said Ms Courtney.

The good news is there are some simple steps you can take to identify and address common injury hazards inside and outside your home, to create a safe environment for children.

Please visit our website and download our ‘Parents Guide to Kidsafe Homes’ or our ‘Home Safety Checklist’ for information and advice on what you can do to help save little lives from preventable injuries. Make sure you also follow our Facebook page to read, like and share our tips and safety information.


Warning of the dangers of curtain and blind cords

Young children are quicker and quieter than you may realise – one minute they are sound asleep and the next they could be standing up in their cot, exploring and playing with a nearby curtain cord.

Looped curtain and blind cords pose a significant strangulation hazard for children; it only takes a few seconds for a young child to get tangled in a cord that is too long or looped, but that few seconds can lead to a lifetime of devastation.

Recent data from the Victorian Coroners Court reveals that sadly two Victorian children – aged 3 and 4 years – have died from injuries received from curtain and blind cord incidents in the last 12 months.

Although warning labels and tensioning devices were made mandatory in December 2010, these laws were not retrospective. That means if you are living in or renting a home that had curtain and blinds installed before this date, they may not be secured out of reach.

This week, please make it a priority to check your home for any loose or looped cords.

Make sure furniture such as cots, beds or high chairs are kept away from windows where children can reach cords, and if necessary, purchase a tensioning device online from your local hardware store to secure any loose or looped cords at least 1.6m above floor level.

Read more about how to keep your child safe around curtain and blind cords.


The 5 Most Common Faults with Pool & Spa Barriers

Having a backyard pool or spa is a lifelong dream for many Aussie families, as it reflects our passion for a fun outdoors lifestyle and provides hours of entertainment, particularly during the warm summer months.

Pool and spa barriers are an important part of our backyard pool and spa setups. These barriers are exposed to the rain, hail and sunshine all year round which can lead to rust, loose or missing bolts or screws and wear and tear – which is why it’s so important that they are regularly checked and maintained.

To help you keep your pool and spa barrier in proper working order, we have put together a list of the 5 most common non-compliance issues or faults with pool and spa barriers to regularly look out for:

  1. Gates that are propped open e.g. with a chair or pot plant, which can provide children with unsupervised access to the water area.
  2. Climbable objects such as chairs, BBQ’s and trees that are near the barrier.
  3. Gates or doors that are no longer self-closing.
  4. Gates or doors that are no longer self-latching.
  5. Gaps in or under the barrier.

While pool and spa barriers help to reduce the risk of drowning, they should never be relied upon on their own to keep children safe. Active adult supervision of children in and around water, water awareness and first aid knowledge should also be included in your home pool defence, to help keep your family safe this season.

Final Reminder – don’t forget that there is less than one week remaining for all homeowners to register their pool or spa with their local council by 1st November 2020. For more information, please please contact your local council or visit vba.vic.gov.au/swimming-pools.

To read more about our ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ pool safety campaign, please click here.


“I wasn’t sure if he would make it”
A Mum’s plea to parents to keep children rearward facing

[Pictured: Jax in hospital with his mother, Zoe]

Mum Zoe shares her story, to raise awareness around the importance of not graduating children from their rearward facing child car restraint until they are the right size to do so.

Read Zoe’s story


Halloween Looks a Little Different in 2020

Unfortunately it’s not a trick, Halloween festivities are another fun activity to cross off the list for 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions have changed the way Victorian families traditionally celebrate trick or treat visits with the neighbours.

It’s not all doom and gloom, there’s no reason why you can’t still get into the spooky spirit by dressing up, playing some games or even having a lolly hunt with the family at home.

If you do plan some at home activities, we have put together a list of our Top Halloween Tips to help ensure everyone can have a fun, spooky and safe time:

  • Be button battery aware: Novelty items that flash, make sounds or light up often contain these batteries. Choose products without button batteries to include as part of your activities. If a product does contain button batteries, ensure that battery compartments are secured – if they aren’t, keep the product out of the sight and reach of little ones.
  • Watch out for choking hazards: Treats such hard lollies or marshmallows can pose a risk to young children.
  • Take care carving pumpkins or fruit: If you are decorating these, leave the carving to an adult.
  • Keep medications out of sight: Some medications can be confused with Halloween themed lollies, so to prevent poisoning, keep any medications out of the sight and reach of children.

If you have any Halloween safety tips you can post them on our Facebook page.


Be the Voice for Your Child

Have you been touched by the loss of a child or had a child seriously injured in a preventable accident?

We are launching a program to support parents and would love to hear about your experience following this tragedy. To assist us with our research and enable us to effectively help more families, please contact Alex@kidsafevic.com.au

We currently list a number of different services who can provide support to families who have experienced a child injury or death on our website here


Have You Submitted Your Entry Yet? Quick Entries Close Soon

Hurry! There are only a few weeks left to enter our ‘Farm Safety Creative Competition’, as entries close on Friday 27th November 2020.

This is a great opportunity for primary school children to unleash their creative talents. Not only is it a fun activity for your child, but it will also encourage them to look out for hazards and facilitate important discussions about farm safety. There are also some great prizes to be won.

For more information on farm safety and the competition, please click here


Safe Seats Safe Kids Program Recommencing in some locations across the state in October

Bookings are essential. To see what events are available in your area or to register your interest, please visit our website


Kidsafe In The News

Eyre PeninsulaLocals encouraged to check pool safety as summer approaches

Geelong TimesDeadline approaching for pool registration

Splash MagazineBarrier checks are more important than ever

Triple M MilduraSafe Barriers, Save Lives



Product Recalls


Red Dot Stores – Eyeball Silicone Flashing Ring

The button battery inside the product may be easily accessible, which can pose a choking hazard or risk of button battery ingestion.

For more information please click here





Sleeping with the Enemy – Summer Mini Personalised Sleepwear

These pyjamas do not comply with the requirements of mandatory children’s sleepwear standards, and do not carry the fire hazard label. These garments may pose a potential fire risk to the wearer.

For more information please click here