Prioritise safety this summer and pay attention

21 November 2019

School holidays and end of year celebrations should be times of fun and relaxation but accidents can happen quickly and quietly so the Office of Fair Trading is reminding Queenslanders to prioritise safety.

“No amount of safety checks and regulations can replace attentive supervision at home, around water or if you’re visiting friends and family,” Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said.

“All drownings in Australia in portable pools of children under five between 2002 and 2018 involved supervision that had either lapsed or was absent entirely.

“Fatal drowning or permanent brain injury can occur even in a small portable pool that contains very little water, so watching children is imperative.

“Don’t be distracted by a visitor or your phone if you are caring for children especially if they are around water.

“Aquatic and flotation toys are not safety devices so don’t assume that a child is safe in the water just because they are wearing or using them.

“Mermaid tails or fins have become popular items but users need to be strong swimmers and should be supervised at all times. They are not recommended for children under the age of seven.”

“Remember to keep safety in mind when buying children Christmas gifts by making sure that they are appropriate for their age and, if buying for very young children, look out for choking hazards and button batteries that may be dangerous or fatal if swallowed.

“Button battery compartments must be secured so that they can’t be opened by children or come loose when the item is dropped.

“If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

“Always take note of warning labels and follow the safety instructions that come with any toy. If parents have concerns they can search the product safety website to find out which toys have been recalled or banned.”

Other issues to keep in mind to ensure a safe summer:

  • Trampolines are a popular Christmas gift but they can also be dangerous with hundreds of children hospitalised each year after having accidents on them. Supervise their use, only allow one child to use it at a time, put padding on the frame and remove any hazards nearby.
  • Take extra care when using quad bikes and make sure riders are trained and experienced in their use and always wear protective gear. Never let children ride quad bikes meant for adults.
  • TVs and furniture can be dangerous to young children if they fall over while the child is trying to climb on top of them. Make sure furniture and TVs are secured to the wall.