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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Keeping kids safe at Christmas

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today asked parents to take special care with their children over the coming holiday period.

“As we get into the swing of the festive season and switch into holiday mode it is important that parents and family remain vigilant of the safety of their children. Swimming pools, children’s toys, bikes, Christmas lights and warm weather are all ingredients for having fun at this time of the year – but they also have the potential to cause harm.

“Alarming figures from Kidsafe tell us that about 90 children may die over summer as the result of accidental injury and a further 9,000 are likely to be seriously injured.

“Many drownings occur during the summer holiday period. An average of two Australian children drown every week with half of these incidences occurring in backyard swimming pools. Simple measures, like safety fences and constant supervision can prevent these deaths.

“Receiving new toys should be fun, but we need to make sure babies and toddlers don’t have access to ones with small or sharp pieces that can be swallowed. If your child is getting a bike this Christmas make sure you don’t forget the helmet too.

“Driveways can be a hazard for little kids. You can’t always see when reversing. On average one child a month dies from being hit by reversing cars, often in the family driveway.

“Drivers also need to remember the fundamentals of safe driving. That means buckling everyone up on every single trip, and especially putting children in approved child restraints. It also means being patient, paying attention to the road, keeping your speed down.

“We all like to relax with family and friends over the Christmas break and for many of us, this means having a few drinks. Parents should keep an eye on how much alcohol they consume in front of their children and remember, they are watching and learning from your behaviour all the time.

“Children bring special joy to Christmas. Make sure your Christmas is a very merry one by putting the safety of children first,” Mr Anthony said.