Western Australian parents were today urged to take extra steps to ensure that the lives and safety of children playing in the home are not put at risk during the Christmas summer holiday period.
The call was made by Housing Minister Dr Kim Hames at the release of the Master Builders’ Association’s ‘Childsafe Homesafe’ holiday home safety awareness program.
Dr Hames said the program, developed by the MBA, in consultation with Kidsafe, aimed to reduce child accidents around the home.
“As a doctor and a parent I have seen how easy it is for children to hurt themselves in the home if adequate care is not taken,” he said.
“The Christmas/New Year period is traditionally the worst time for children being injured in the home unnecessarily.
“These injuries are often due to factors which could have been prevented through more sensible building design or extra care being taken by parents.”
According to Kidsafe WA, about 5,000 Australian children are hospitalised every month as a result of unintentional injuries. The most common place for young children to be injured is in the home.
The Minister said safety precautions that could be incorporated into the home included spring loaded safety taps in the bathroom to prevent burns and scalds, circuit breakers for protection against electrocution, anti tilt brackets for upright stoves and child resistant catches in kitchen cupboards.
Dr Hames said it was not just parents who were responsible for providing a ‘safe’ home.
“If people know they are having visitors with children during the Christmas break, they should also ensure they are providing a safe environment,” he said.
The Minister encouraged parents to get a copy of the MBA’s Holiday Home Safety Booklet, which outlined many of the steps that can be taken to ensure a home is ‘child safe’. Copies of the home safety kit are available from the MBA on 9322 5133.
Media contact: Sandy Gater: 9424 7450