26 September 2023

Fair Trading warns on kids’ home hazards

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The Queensland Office of Fair Trading has issued a warning to parents at home with young children during the COVID-19 pandemic to be wary of products, furniture and fittings that posed risks of injury or death.

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.”

She said items such as small high-powered magnets, detergent capsules and cleaning products could result in horrific injuries and even death if swallowed.

“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,” Ms D’Ath 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.”

She said trampolines were a popular backyard amusement, but they could also be dangerous with hundreds of children hospitalised each year after accidents on them.

“While a lot of Queenslanders are at home all day at the moment, it is easy to become complacent, but we are asking parents to take a few minutes to have a look around their homes for any potential hazards,” the Minister said.

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

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