Holidays are all about breaking our daily routine and experiencing new things. Unfortunately, when we are in holiday mode, out of routine and in an unfamiliar environment, it’s easy to overlook a safety risk, which is why Emergency departments get inundated each holiday season.
The good news is that many of these injuries are preventable, and we’ve put together our top ten holiday safety tips to keep you in holiday mode and out of Emergency.
- Be button battery aware!
Small button batteries are everywhere, are very tempting to children and incredibly dangerous if swallowed. Check that battery compartments on toys and remotes are secured with a screw and beware of flashing novelty items that often have sub-standard battery enclosures.
If you suspect a child has swallowed a battery call Poisons information 13 11 26 for expert advice 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
- Be aware of toys as a choking risk
Ensure toys are appropriate to the age and development of the child, especially if there are children of mixed ages holidaying together. If you have babies or toddlers, keep the floor clear of items that can easily pass through a toilet roll – like buttons, magnets or small building bricks.
- Prevent household burns and sunburn
Keep kids out of kitchen areas and keep hot liquids like cups of tea or instant noodles out of reach of toddlers.
If going in the sun, avoid the hottest part of the day.
SLIP on a shirt
Slop on sunscreen
Slap on a hat
Slide on sunglasses
If a burn occurs:
REMOVE any clothing or jewelry in the area (unless stuck to the skin)
COOL under cold running water for a full 20 minutes
COVER with a clean dressing
Seek medical help if the burn is larger than 20 cent piece or blistered.
- Keep driveways clear
Holidays can mean the driveway is busy. Remember to:
Separate kids’ play area from the car or driveway
Supervise where the children are when someone is leaving
See for yourself if children are around the car. Don’t rely on your reverse camera.
- Prevent falls over balconies or off bunkbeds
Check your balcony or verandah doesn’t have moveable furniture near the balustrade and if using bunk beds, ensure there is a clear space around them and no ceiling fan above. The top bunk is not recommended for children under 12 years.
- Stay safe near water
Always actively supervise children around water and for small children keep them at arm’s length. Use personal flotation devices if using watercraft.
Check pool fencing and that the gate locks securely. Keep furniture clear from pool fences as children may use it to climb over.
- Bike safely and always wear a helmet
When using bicycles or other wheeled devices ensure you have safety equipment, especially an Australian standard helmet. Personal mobility devices (PMDs) like e-scooters can only be used by children 16 years and over and doubling is prohibited so be aware that you could be fined.
- Check your child’s car seat
Get on the road these holidays? A correctly fitting car seat can reduce the risk of injury in a car accident by up to 70%. It’s important to have your child’s car restraint regularly checked by a qualified Type One Fitter to ensure they are travelling safely.
Never leave a child unattended in a car. In an Australian summer, inside a parked car is typically 30 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. Once you have arrived at your destination, empty the car, lock it and keep your keys away from children.
Book a child car seat fitting or check with Kidsafe Qld’s team of qualified Type One Fitters
- Safe sleeping tips
If you are travelling, ensure your portable cot meets the mandatory Australian Standard (AS/NZS 2195–1999). Car seats, hammocks, prams are not designed for safe sleeping and no young child should be left in these unsupervised.
- Set some play safely guidelines
Holidays are all about play so it’s a good idea to set some guidelines early. At home, if you have equipment like a trampoline, check it for wear and tear and set the ground rules – one child bouncing at a time.
Public playgrounds are designed to appeal to a wide range of children. Assess each child’s capabilities and specify which areas they can go. Adult supervision helps kids navigate risk and just enjoy playing.
NEED SOME ADVICE?
Kidsafe Qld’s mission is to provide evidence-based practical advice to empower parents and caregivers to make informed choices to prevent childhood injuries. We are at your service and welcome any questions you might have around preventing injury and keeping kids safe at home, on the road, in water and at play.
Call 3854 1829