Prams, high chairs and change tables. They’re meant to make our lives as parents easier. Instead, they’re sending our babies to hospital with terrible injuries from falls and other accidents. And distracted parents are to blame.
At least three children need hospital treatment every week in Victoria alone due to pram accidents, the latest figures show. And hundreds more babies and toddlers are being hurt in falls from high chairs and change tables each year.
The troubling number of infant injuries has prompted warnings from Kidsafe Victoria for parents to take more care.
“We often don’t think of these nursery products as being dangerous because they are not necessarily dangerous in themselves,” says Kidsafe general manager Jason Chambers..
“But unlike a fireplace where we can perceive the danger of fire, when you think of a pram, injury is probably not the first thought to pop up.”
Jason says fall injuries are too common in very young children and most can be avoided.
“When it comes to nursery equipment, there are some really simple things that can be done to reduce the risk of falls and injuries from these products,” Jason says.
“They are products every one has and they are used a lot and that’s why it is important the safety steps are taken.”
Here are some tips Jason says can help keep little ones safe.
Pram safety tips
- Pick a pram with a five-point (full body) safety harness and buckle the child in every time
- Apply brakes whenever the pram is stopped as it only take a small slope for it to roll away
- Ensure a tether strap is attached to the pram that an adult can hold onto at all times, especially when distracted by other children, a phone call and so on
- Do not hang things from the pram or overload the storage space because prams can easily tip
- Do not let extra children hang onto or stand on pram
Change table safety tips
- The higher the fall the greater risk of injury so one hand should always be placed on baby while using a change table
- It takes a split second for a child to roll off a change table so keep essentials close by
- Even if there is a harness strap, never leave a child alone on a change table
High chair safety tips
- High chair straps should be buckled every time
- Make sure baby can’t slip out, especially if the high chair has a removeable tray
- Never let a child stand in a high chair
- Secure wheel locks when in use
- Always strap a booster seat securely to a chair