Media Release


Give your Children Safety for Christmas



With over 60% of all child injuries taking place in the home, Kidsafe Victoria in partnership with the Monash Children's Hospital, are urging Victorian parents to give their children the gift of safety this Christmas, by conducting a home safety assessment and addressing common injury hazards.


High on the priority list during the holidays are driveways and backyard swimming pools and spas, which are often the location of death or serious injury to children.

Erica Edmands, President of Kidsafe Victoria, said Christmas is a busy period around the home with visitors coming and going and the last minute rush to prepare for parties and family gatherings - all of which can distract parents from the constant supervision small babies and toddlers require.

Every year in Australia, approximately 260 children die and a further 58,000 are hospitalised due to an unintentional injury. The home is the most common location for these injuries to occur.

"The most common injury hazards found in the home include poisons, stairs, kitchen dangers, curtain and blind cords, window and cabinet glass, doors and play equipment", said Ms Edmands.

Monash Health's Director of Paediatric Emergency Adam West, noted the importance of toy safety this Christmas with things like button batteries and small parts being common causes of toy related injury, along with collisions on trampolines and falls from wheeled devices.

"Button batteries can cause serious burn injuries to children if swallowed, so it is important that the battery compartment on any toys or household devices is secure to restrict children's access to the batteries" said Dr West.

Kidsafe Victoria has released a free Home Safety Checklist and Christmas Toy Safety fact sheet to assist parents and carers to identify possible hazards and help reduce the risk of injury for their children this Christmas.

Some major hazards to look out for these holidays:

Driveways- With lots of people coming and going around Christmas time, it is important to supervise separate and see children at all times. When backing out of a driveway, don't go if you don't know.

Pool Gates and Fencing - Check the pool gate is in proper working order, including that the gate still self closes and self latches. Never leave the pool gate propped open.

Button Batteries - Button batteries can be found in many common household devices such as toys, remote controls and watches. When swallowed, the coin sized batteries can cause severe burns to a child's throat. Always keep devices with button batteries out of reach of children.

Outdoor play equipment such as trampolines- Make sure that play equipment is in good condition and the area around equipment such as trampolines is free from any hazards and hard surfaces.

Poisons - Ensure poisonous products such as medications and household cleaners are stored in a locked cupboard, up high and out of reach of children.

Ms Edmands said it is vital that parents and carers are aware of the potential hazards in and around their homes and take action to reduce the risk of serious injury or death for their children.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, Kidsafe Victoria - Mobile: 0417 329 201