Welcome to the July edition of Kidsafe Victoria’s e-news. This month we will be sharing information on how you can keep your home safe this winter. We also have some information on the dangers of magnets and an update on our Community Outreach Program. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for regular safety tips and updates – happy reading and stay safe!
Is Your Home Winter Safe?
Winter has well and truly set in! With the cold, wet weather that winter brings, many of us will be spending more time indoors around heaters, open fires and hot food and drinks in a bid to keep dry and warm. While looking for options to help keep your family warm, it is important to be aware of potential hazards that many of these items can pose if we’re not careful when using them.
Here are some of the things you can check as part of your home winter safety tune up:
- Do you have working smoke alarms installed between sleeping areas and in the rest of the house?
All houses are required by law to have smoke alarms installed. Smoke alarm batteries should be changed annually (at the end of daylight saving) and alarms tested monthly.
- Do you have a home fire escape plan?
All homes should have a home fire escape plan. If you don’t have a plan, visit www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au to help you develop one and make sure you practice it regularly with the whole family.
- Is the delivery temperature of your hot water set to a maximum of 50 degrees in the bathroom?
Hot water burns like fire; at 60 degrees it takes 1 second for a life threatening scald to an infant, at 50 degrees it takes 5 minutes. Many older homes will have their hot water temperature set to between 60-75 degrees. A licensed plumber can check your homes hot water settings and reduce the delivery temperature to 50 degrees.
- Is there a clear space around your heaters? It is recommended that there is a minimum of 1m clearance between heaters and objects like clothes, bedding, furniture, curtains and other combustibles.
For more information and tips on how to keep your home safe this winter, please read our home winter safety tune up fact sheet.
Small Magnets Pose a Big Danger for Children
Did you know that magnets can be dangerous? If swallowed, magnets can pose a choking hazard for children. When two or more magnets are swallowed, they can lock together inside the body and lead to blockages, perforation, infection or even death.
This month, Kidsafe Victoria and Monash Children’s Hospital issued a warning to parents and carers about the dangers posed by magnets, highlighting the story of 5 year old Noah who ingested 30 magnets in 2017.
Statistics from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit show that on average, 38 Victorian children aged 0-14 years present to a hospital emergency department each year due to a magnet related injury. Babies and young children are particularly at risk as they are naturally curious and often explore their environments by placing items in their mouths.
There are a number of common household items that contain magnets including children’s toys, fridge magnets, jewellery and keyrings.
For more information on the dangers posed by magnets and what you can do to reduce the risk, please visit the ACCC Product Safety website.
Kidsafe Victoria Community Outreach Program
In 2017/18 we delivered over 280 child injury prevention presentations to parent, carer, staff and health professional groups in over 15 municipalities. These presentations provide participants with practical information, tips and advice on child injury and safety topics including child car restraints, poisoning, water safety, falls, burns and scalds, choking/suffocation and toy safety.
We would like to sincerely thank Hyundai Help for Kids for their support which has allowed us to deliver this program across Victoria. We would also like to thank the following local councils who provided grants to run the Community Outreach Program in their municipalities - Wyndham, Port Phillip, Moreland, Glen Eira, Boorandara, Brimbank and Manningham.
PSEA Dept Stores Pty Ltd - Illuminate Bunny LED Light
If the product is dropped on a hard surface the button batteries may be released. If young children ingest button batteries they may suffer serious internal burn injuries. Consumers should immediately stop using this item and return it to their nearest Harris Scarfe store for a full refund. For further information, please click here.
Sabiha Designs — Teething Rattles and Dummy Chains
This product does not comply with relevant mandatory standards for babies’ dummies and dummy chains. Beads can come loose from this product and pose a potential choking hazard to babies and young children. Consumers who have purchased the product will be sent an envelope to return the product. A full refund will be provided. For further information, please click here.