A DVD aimed at saving children’s lives from common accidents at home has been launched today by Queensland Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor.
Mr Lawlor said the DVD was designed to highlight the risks of furniture stability and tip-over injuries, and to provide carers with the know-how to make homes safer for children.
“It is a tragic fact that furniture and appliance-related injuries to children under five years of age account for an estimated 180 emergency presentations in Queensland each year, according to the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit,” Mr Lawlor said.
“Most of these injuries occur when children push or pull items over, climb and fall off furniture, or climb and tip furniture and appliances over.
“Tip-over injuries alone account for an estimated 115 emergency presentations each year, with the biggest problem being the family television.
“In November 2009, an Australian and New Zealand standard was published for the stability of furniture to help prevent these types of injuries.
“However, history has shown that safety standards alone cannot protect our children.
“Awareness of furniture stability issues is required from production to purchase, and beyond.
“Prevention requires better design, selecting stable furniture, and mechanisms to install or fix less stable items.
“Manufacturers and retailers can help ensure parents and carers are well-informed by conducting performance tests to assess the stability of their products and placing warning labels on those found to be high risk.
“Parents and carers can help protect children by taking a few simple steps to make their household furniture as stable and safe as possible.”
Mr Lawlor said the Queensland Office of Fair Trading had embarked on a Safety matters campaign to raise awareness of this issue and highlight simple and effective strategies that both parents and the furniture industry can put in place to reduce furniture stability hazards.
“As part of the campaign, the Bligh Government is offering parents and carers a free, four-minute DVD on how to make their home safer and prevent furniture stability injuries to children,” he said.
“It will also be made available to Kidsafe Australia, child care centres, ante natal classes, libraries, Members of Parliament and Fair Trading offices throughout Queensland.
“Warning labels will be made available to manufacturers and suppliers for placement on high-risk products.
Mr Lawlor said the Queensland Office of Fair Trading had produced a wide range of information on product safety and children, including the 7 easy steps fliers.
“7 easy steps is designed to help parents make safe furniture choices for their children - whether at home, on the road, or on holiday. Topics include:
• Blinds and curtain cords
• Bunk bed safety
• Furniture safety
• Holiday accommodation
• Portable cot safety
• Safe and correctly fitted child restraints
• Safe sleep for your baby
• Treadmill safety around children.
For more information on product safety, or for a copy of Climb, tumble and fall – steps to furniture safety visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Queensland Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor's office 07 3224 2002