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Travel safety audit can stop dream becoming nightmare

September 28, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

For many of us, this Monday is a holiday (yay!) – but a leading state authority has warned travelling families that a quick safety audit can prevent a dream long weekend from turning into a holiday nightmare.

Monday (1 October 2018) is a public holiday in NSW, ACT and SA (Labour Day) and in Queensland (Queens Birthday).

It’s not a holiday in other states or territories, as Australia is taking a long time to realise that the rest of the world regards it as one country.

Queensland Fair Trading (QFT) has advised families heading away on holiday to do a quick safety audit of their accommodation before they kick into full-blown holiday mode.

Queensland Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer says parents and guardians spending 10 minutes checking their accommodation is safe for their little ones before they relax could make all the difference.

“No one wants to see their loved ones injured, particularly if it’s preventable,” Bauer said.

“You can start your safety checks before you leave home by ringing your accommodation provider to confirm bunk beds comply with mandatory safety standards, and checking your portacot is safe.

“Once you reach your destination, a ten minute check of key risks such as bunk beds, furniture stability, and blind and curtain cords can help keep your little ones safe.”

Check risks to keep children safe

Bunk beds

  • Check with the accommodation provider that their bunk beds comply with mandatory safety standards.
  • Make sure the top bunk has guard rails and there are no gaps that could trap your child’s head.
  • Check the ladder is secure and don’t let children play on the bunk.
  • Children nine years and under should only sleep on the bottom bunk.

Furniture

  • Check any furniture is stable and preferably anchored to a wall.
  • Make sure children can’t reach windows or blind or curtain cords by standing on furniture.
  • Don’t put tempting items such as toys, feeding bottles or remote controls on tables or shelves. 

Blind and curtain cords

  • All blind and curtain cords should be out of reach of young children to prevent strangulation. If they are not, tie them up so they are out of reach.

Portacots

  • Before you use a portable cot, make sure the sides and ends are locked into place and the mesh is not torn or broken.
  • Only use the mattress that comes with the portacot and ensure there are no gaps around it when fitted.
  • Don’t be tempted to add or replace the mattress or add any padding. The risk is too high that your baby could wind up under the mattress or caught between the mattress and the sides and suffocate.
  • Check your portacot complies with the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 2195).

Edited by Peter Needham

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