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Quick safety audit can be the difference between a dream long weekend and a holiday nightmare

24 September 2018

Families looking to get away this October long weekend are being urged to do a quick safety audit of their accommodation before they kick into full-blown holiday mode.

According to Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer, parents and guardians spending 10 minutes checking their accommodation is safe for their little ones before they relax could be the difference between a dream holiday and a holiday nightmare.

“No one wants to see their loved ones injured, particularly if it’s preventable,” Mr Bauer said.

“You can start your safety checks before you leave home by ringing your accommodation provider to confirm bunk beds comply with mandatory safety standards, and checking your portacot is safe.

“Once you reach your destination, a ten minute check of key risks such as bunk beds, furniture stability, and blind and curtain cords can help keep your little ones safe.”

Bunk beds

  • Check with the accommodation provider that their bunk beds comply with mandatory safety standards.
  • Make sure the top bunk has guard rails and there are no gaps that could trap your child’s head.
  • Check the ladder is secure and don’t let children play on the bunk.
  • Children nine years and under should only sleep on the bottom bunk.

Furniture

  • Check any furniture is stable and preferably anchored to a wall.
  • Make sure children can’t reach windows or blind or curtain cords by standing on furniture.
  • Don’t put tempting items such as toys, feeding bottles or remote controls on tables or shelves.

Blind and curtain cords

  • All blind and curtain cords should be out of reach of young children to prevent strangulation. If they are not, tie them up so they are out of reach.

Portacots

  • Before you use a portable cot, make sure the sides and ends are locked into place and the mesh is not torn or broken.
  • Only use the mattress that comes with the portacot and ensure there are no gaps around it when fitted.
  • Don’t be tempted to add or replace the mattress or add any padding. The risk is too high that your baby could wind up under the mattress or caught between the mattress and the sides and suffocate.
  • Check your portacot complies with the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 2195).

For a more detailed list of safe holiday checks, visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.