We want you to have a safe, happy and healthy summer. Many summer products can be unsafe if they are left unattended or aren’t used properly. Follow our top tips for a safe and healthy summer, and keep up-to-date on the latest product recalls.
Christmas toys and button batteries
In the lead up to Christmas, it’s a good idea to check that the gifts you’re giving haven’t been recalled or banned.
- The holidays are a great opportunity to check if any of the products in your house or the houses of your loved ones have been recalled.
- If you're rushing with last minute Christmas shopping, take time to check that gifts for little ones are age appropriate and don’t pose choking hazards.
- Be sure to read any warning labels and follow all safety instructions.
- Check all products in the home to see if they come with button batteries.
- Ensure they are screwed in and not easily accessible.
- If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.
High powered magnets
Magnetic toys and puzzles seems like harmless fun but a number of children have been hospitalised with significant injuries caused by ingesting these small but powerful magnets. Ensure the magnets in your household are safe and haven’t been recalled.
Exercise extreme caution when buying magnetic balls commonly supplied as a toy, game or puzzle, that are:
- approximately 5 mm in diameter
- sold in cubes with 216 or 512 pieces
- silver or brightly coloured
- known or marketed as:
- rare earth magnets
- neodymium magnets
- Neo magnets
- NIB magnets
- NdFeB magnets.
If in doubt, always ask the seller to verify that the product supplied is not subject to the permanent ban.
Is your trampoline safe? Trampolines appear to be safer these days, but did you know that they have been designed for only one child to use at a time?
Hundreds of Australian children are taken to hospital every year for trampoline-related injuries such as cuts, sprains and fractures. Don’t let your trampoline spring a nasty surprise.
Follow the five-step safety checklist to keep kids safe on trampolines:
- One at a time
- Safety padding
- Check condition
- Hazard free surrounds.
Aquatic toys and pool gates
Aquatic toys and flotation devices are not safety devices. Children who can't swim may drown if their aquatic toy fails or if they do not use it properly. Children injured while playing with a toy in the water are at greater risk of drowning.
- Parents and carers should constantly watch children when using these types of toys.
- When buying or using aquatic toys, check the age and weight restrictions to ensure the products are appropriate for use.
- Read the warning labels and packaging carefully and follow instructions for proper assembly and use.
Swimming pools are the leading drowning location for children under the age of 4.
- Ensure that pool gates and locks are in working order.
- Locking devices on pool gates and fences can be defective or wear out over time — check that your pool gate and latches are locking properly when the gate is closed to ensure that unsupervised kids can’t access the pool.
- Never leave a pool gate propped open.
Christmas trees and decorations
Don’t let dodgy decorations ruin your fun this Christmas.
- Choose less flammable options this festive season. Consider an artificial Christmas tree, and LED lights with an extra-low voltage.
- Make sure no flammable items, including aerosols, are close to the tree.
- Check that all lights and decorations meet Australian standards, cords aren’t frayed or exposed and don’t overload your power sockets.
- Never leave lights on overnight, or unsupervised.
Check your lifejackets are up to date with your local marine safety agency requirements.
Every year lives are lost in recreational boating incidents. Tragically, many deaths could have been prevented by wearing a lifejacket.
- When participating in recreational water activities such as boating, canoeing or water skiing, you are required by law to wear a lifejacket.
- Lifejackets must comply with certain safety standards, be well-maintained and be suitable for the type of recreational activity.
- Check the requirements in your area with your local state or territory marine safety agency.
And remember, if you are not wearing your lifejacket, it cannot save your life.
DIY car repairs and maintenance
On average, 5 Australians die each year as a result of DIY car maintenance accidents. Research shows most fatalities happen when the victims are working under a vehicle and using equipment incorrectly, and many of those fatalities involve the use of vehicle jacks.
- When working under your car, use a trolley jack to lift the car before lowering it onto vehicle support stands.
- Use vehicle support stands on a hard level surface such as concrete before working under your car.
- Never place any part of your body under a vehicle unless it is sitting securely on support stands or ramps.
- Never get under a car that is only supported by a jack, and always follow product instructions and report faulty products.
See our DIY car safety page for more information.