Welcome to the first edition of Kidsafe Victoria’s e-news for the year! 2014 was a big year for us in child injury prevention and it looks like 2015 will be even bigger. We will be continuing to spread safety messages through our various campaigns and programs, as well as keeping Victorian’s up to date with the latest safety information. To make sure you are always in the know, like us on Facebook and Twitter.
In this month’s e-news you will find some information on pool safety, travelling with children, some back to school tips and the latest product recalls. You can also read about how the City of Greater Geelong are helping to raise awareness as part of Kidsafe Victoria’s ‘Do Not Leave Children in Cars’ campaign.
City of Greater Geelong joins Kidsafe Victoria in ‘Do Not Leave Children in Cars’ Campaign
The City of Greater Geelong has joined Kidsafe Victoria’s campaign in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of children being left unattended in cars.
In the last 12 months, paramedics were called to 1,165 incidents where children have been left unattended in cars. Within minutes, temperatures inside a parked car can reach 20-30 degrees hotter than the outside temperature, placing children at a high risk of becoming dehydrated and suffering from heat stroke, which can be fatal.
The installation of signs in local car parks is one element of Kidsafe Victoria’s overall campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars. To find out more on the campaign, or to order signs for your workplace/local council/early childhood or maternal and child health centre, please visit http://kidsafevic.com.au/road-safety/hot-cars/do-not-leave-children-in-cars-campaign.
Pool Fence Safety
Pools can be great fun during summer, but they can also be dangerous, especially for young children. Did you know that backyard pools are the most common location for childhood drowning to occur? A large number of drowning incidents occur as the result of fencing that is faulty or is being used incorrectly.
With summer in full swing, it is a critical time for pool owners to check that their pool fence is functioning correctly. Key points to look out for include:
- Fencing: any pool with a depth greater than 30cm is required to be fenced, including portable and inflatable pools.
- Gates: are they self-closing and self-latching? Remember, never leave gates propped open.
- Climbable objects: Are there any items such as chairs or eskies left near the pool that may allow a child to climb over the fence? If so they should be moved immediately.
- First Aid: Do you know what to do in an emergency? Having an updated knowledge of CPR and First Aid can save a life.
Remember that the best way to prevent childhood drowning is through active, parental supervision. Never take your eyes off children around water and always keep toddlers within arm’s reach.
For more information on pool fence safety, please visit http://kidsafevic.com.au/water-safety/pool-fence-safety
Kids in Cars
Seat belts have been around for a long time. Since 1970, all cars legally have to be fitted with a seat belt. Since this was introduced, the risk of serious or fatal injury has reduced by 50%. Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways to prevent yourself or your children from being critically injured in a car accident. It is also the law for everyone to wear a seat belt in Australia.
Despite this, Victoria Police have revealed that over the past five years, 10,610 drivers were caught driving with an unrestrained child. State Highway Patrol Inspector David Griffin told the Herald Sun that “there is no excuse” for not properly restraining children in cars.
"Young children, in particular, do not understand or appreciate the importance of being restrained and do not comprehend the potential consequences," Inspector Griffin said.
"As parents, guardians and drivers, we are all responsible for the safety of every passenger, particularly children."
As parents and carers we can all set an example by always wearing a seat belt. To help make sure children are always travelling as safe as possible:
- Make sure they are seated in the back seat of the car – this is far a safer for them than the front seat
- Ensure they are seated in an approved, properly fitted child restraint that is appropriate for their age and size.
- Ensure that the child restraint has no loose or twisted straps and that all buckles are clicked in correctly.
If you think your child is ready to graduate from a booster seat to an adult seat belt, try the 5-step test. The five step test can be accessed via http://www.kidsafe.com.au/crguidelines5steptest
For more information on child restraints, please visit http://kidsafevic.com.au/road-safety/child-restraints.
Back to School
School starts back on the 29th of January. Those holidays went quick didn’t they (or maybe too long for some parents)? Remember that 40km school zones will be back in action and there will be lots of children getting to and from school. Look out for all road signs and be careful when driving around schools, particularly during drop off and pick up times.
If you walk to school or kinder with your little one, why not download our Elmo Stays Safe iPad App for a fun and interactive way to teach them about pedestrian safety? Elmo Stays Safe is also available as an e-Book. To download, please visit http://kidsafevic.com.au/resources/sesame/ipad-app-and-e-book
Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd—Baby Pacifier
The dummy is missing a warning that should state: DO NOT TIE SOOTHER AROUND BABY'S NECK AS IT PRESENTS A STRANGULATION DANGER. Parents may not realise the risk of attaching the soother to a baby’s neck, which may cause a strangulation hazard. Consumers should return the product to any Mercedes-Benz dealer for a full refund. For more information, please visit https://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1066789