Home health hazards

Common household items pose safety risk to young kids.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said parents should not become complacent with safety, especially if they’re trying to manage working from home commitments as well as caring for children.

“At least one child is killed in Australia every year by toppling furniture so we would like to remind parents to make sure that they are using anchoring devices and furniture straps to secure their furniture and TVs,” Ms D’Ath said.

“Never place tempting items such as favourite toys or remote controls on top of furniture like bookcases or chests of drawers, as this encourages children to climb up to get them.

Ms D’Ath said button batteries posed a serious risk to young children.

“Swallowing button batteries is another major safety concern and they are found in almost every home including in flashing novelties, children’s toys, remote controls for cars, garages and TVs as well as other common household items such as scales and calculators,” she said.

“If a battery is swallowed or put up the nose, it can cause severe burns or death. Even when flat these batteries can still be dangerous so dispose of used batteries immediately.

“Ensure that the battery compartments are secure and can’t be opened by children and if you purchase replacement batteries, keep them well out of reach of little fingers.
Household cleaning products were another known hazard.

“Items such as small high-powered magnets, detergent capsules and cleaning products can result in horrific injuries and even death if swallowed, so keep these types of products out of reach and out of sight of young children at all times,” Ms D’Ath said.

She urged families with trampolines to ensure children were adequately supervised.

“Trampolines are a popular backyard amusement, but they can also be dangerous with hundreds of children hospitalised each year after having accidents on trampolines,” Ms D’Ath said.

“We advise parents to always supervise their child on a trampoline and ensure there is safety padding that fully covers the frame and springs and remove any nearby hazards that children could fall on.”

“There is no substitute for supervision but making some small changes can improve the safety aspects of people’s homes.”