Police have urged parents to ensure their homes are safe for children following the recent deaths of two toddlers in Sydney’s north and north west.
Commander of the North West Metropolitan Region, Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford, said it was important for parents to assess the threats posed by various appliances, fixtures, and furniture in their homes.
“I’m urging all parents to do their best to ensure their home is free of hazards that could injure their child,” he said.
“While it may not be possible to completely remove dangers, performing a check on potential risks is a good first step.
“It’s important to ensure all curtain and blind cords are out of reach of children. This may involve moving furniture, such as cots and beds, away from cords.
“Cleaning products and medications, chemicals, and plastic bags should be stored in a lockable cupboard or an area that’s inaccessible to children.”
Assistant Commissioner Clifford said it was also important to teach children what to do in certain situations when they’re old enough to follow instructions and how to call 000 in an emergency.
“There’s no particular age at which children can be safely left at home – this would depend on the child’s maturity and their individual circumstances,'' he said.
“Parents can also teach kids basic first aid so they know what to do if they sustain a minor cut or burn.''
Safety tips for homes
• Ensure windows are secure and not left open when unattended
• Ensure windows cannot be opened more than 10cm except by an adult
• Have a securely fitted window guard - fly-screens are not ‘child-proof’ and do not prevent a child from falling from an open window
• Don’t place furniture in front of windows - keep objects that a child can use to stand or climb on away from windows (including beds, cupboards, chairs and other furniture)
• If you have sash windows, open them at the top not the bottom
• Heaters, open fires, candles should be screened with a secured guard or inaccessible to children who should be supervised at all times when they’re in use
• Floor coverings should be free of trip hazards.
• Pay attention to power boards and electrical appliances, which should be switched off when not in use. Make sure they’re in good working order and not overloaded.