Hot consumer safety tips for summer
Published Tuesday, 20 December, 2022 at 11:06 AM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
As the weather heats up, many families are looking forward to spending more time outdoors and around water. The Office of Fair Trading has released their tips to keep children safe during summer.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman, said figures from Royal Life Saving Australia show 339 people lost their lives to drowning across Australia in 2021-22, including 32 children under 14 years.
“Up to 35 per cent of drowning deaths in children occurred in a swimming pool, so we want everyone to keep water safety front of mind,” Minister Fentiman said.
“There is no substitute for adult supervision, so parents and carers should keep constant watch.
“Flotation and aquatic toys are not safety devices, so never assume that children are out of harm’s way in the water while wearing them.
“Make sure pool gates are self-closing and latches lock properly to prevent access when you’re not around. Never prop pool gates open and keep furniture and other large items well clear so children can’t use them to climb over.”
The Attorney said a popular alternative to in-ground pools are portable pools but warned that they can be just as dangerous.
“Portable pools might be a cheaper option than installing an in-ground pool; however, many parents and carers may not realise their significant drowning risks and potential need for fencing if a portable pool contains more than 30 centimetres of water,” she said.
“Anyone thinking about buying a portable pool should spend a few minutes checking out www.productsafety.gov.au/makeitsafe.”
And while many families may be visiting a farm of rural property during summer holidays, it’s important to remember that quad bikes also pose significant risk to riders, especially children.
So far this year, nine Australians have been killed riding quad bikes, which easily roll over when used on rough ground, at high speed or carrying heavy or uneven loads.
Since October 2021, all new and imported second hand quad bikes need to be fitted with operator protection devices and meet minimum stability requirements. They must also meet US and European standards and come with a tag, so consumers can compare the safety of models prior to purchase.
Minister Fentiman said that even with the new regulations, the safest option is to avoid letting children ride them altogether.
“Children should never drive or be a passenger on quad bikes intended for adults, as they don’t have the ability to safely operate these vehicles.”
In addition to staying alert while children are in the pool, and keeping them away from adult-sized quad bikes, parents should remember these three additional safety tips to ensure a safe summer:
- Trampolines can be dangerous, so ensure their use is supervised, only one child is using it at a time, padding is placed over the frame, and nearby hazards are removed.
- Approximately 20 Australian children present to an emergency department every week after swallowing or inserting button batteries, so make sure button batteries are properly secured and do not come loose if an item is dropped.
- While Christmas is an exciting time and everybody loves receiving presents, it’s important that children’s toys are an appropriate size to avoid choking hazards, have non-toxic sides, and that children are always supervised during play.
For more consumer advice around summer activities, visit: Be summer safe 2022 | Product Safety Australia.
Media contact: Phoenix Campbell 0439 949 719