Welcome to the May edition of Kidsafe Victoria’s e-news. This month we have some information on preventing injuries from falls, our newly released research into ISOFIX compatible restraints and how you can access our Post Injury Support Portal. We also have information on the latest product recalls. Remember to like us on Facebook so you never miss a safety tip!
Happy reading and stay safe!
Preventing the most common childhood injury
Falls are the leading cause of hospital admissions and emergency department presentations for children. Falls usually occur from furniture such as change tables, high chairs, baby walkers, cots and prams. Other common fall hazards include stairs, windows, balconies, trampolines and wheeled devices such as bikes, skateboards and scooters.
While falls often result in minor injuries such as scrapes and bruises, some falls can lead to more serious injuries, like broken bones or head trauma. It goes without saying that the higher the fall height, the greater the damage to the child. Falls can be particularly dangerous for infants. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your children safe from falls, such as:
- Changing babies on the floor. If you need to use a change-table, make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach, so that you can keep at least one hand on your baby at all times.
- Always use the five-point harness when placing a child in a high chair or pram.
- Place guards or gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Ensure that all windows in your home are fitted with latches or locks that will stop windows from opening more than 12.5cm.
- Do not allow children access to balconies unsupervised and ensure that balcony balustrades are at least 1m high, with gaps no larger than 12.5cm.
- Make sure children wear a properly fitted helmet when riding on any wheeled device. This includes bikes, scooters, skateboards and roller blades.
- Supervise children at all times when jumping on the trampoline.
Last week, Kidsafe Victoria released a research report into the use of ISOFIX compatible child restraints in Australia.
The research, funded by the TAC Community Road Safety Grants Program, identified a number of important misuse and incorrect fitting issues with ISOFIX compatible child restraints.
While the large majority of parents and carers reported that they found ISOFIX restraints easy to use, 72% of professional child restraint fitters involved in the research reported that they had come across incorrect fitting and misuse of ISOFIX compatible restraints.
ISOFIX compatible restraints are often marketed as being safer than traditional child restraints. In reality, ISOFIX and traditional child restraints are both safe as long as they have been installed and are being used correctly.
One of the most concerning results of the study was that 28% of parents reported they rarely, or never checked that the ISOFIX attachments on their restraint were clicked in and that the straps were tight enough.
Whether you decide to use an ISOFIX compatible or traditional child restraint, it is crucial that the restraint is the correct size for the child. It also needs to be correctly fitted to the vehicle and properly adjusted and fastened on every trip.
The best way to ensure your child restraint is installed correctly is to visit a professional child restraint fitter. To find child restraint fitting stations in your local area, please click here.
Key incorrect installation or misuse issues identified with ISOFIX compatible child restraints in the research included:
- Restraints that had been installed using both the ISOFIX connections and seatbelt
- Lower straps that have not been tightened enough
- ISOFIX connections not attached to the anchor point properly
- ISOFIX compatible child restraints where the top tether strap had not been connected (installed using the ISOFIX connections only)
For more information on ISOFIX compatible restraints and the research findings, please click here.
Specialised support for families who experience an injury to a child
Do you know someone who has lost a child due to an unintentional injury, such as drowning or a car accident? Or do you know someone who is helping their child recover after a serious injury?
Serious injuries can be a traumatic experience, not only for the child, but also for their parents and wider family. Knowing how to support someone in this situation can be difficult, so Kidsafe Victoria has developed a tailored Post Injury Support Portal to help people dealing with a child injury or death.
The portal contains information, advice and links to support services, first aid information and personal stories/experiences.
To access the portal, please click here.
Emall Pty Ltd — Wooden Baby Cot Crib Toddler Bed & Wooden Baby Cot Crib Toddler Cradle Bed
The cots do not comply with Australian Standards and pose a number of risks to infants such as entrapment, choking and fall hazards. Consumers should stop using the cot immediately and contact Emall for a collection and refund. For more information, please click here.
Kmart Australia Ltd. — Wooden Vehicle Train
The screws could come loose from the train and pose a choking hazard to young children. Consumers should stop using the product immediately and return it to any Kmart store for a full refund. For more information, please click here.