It's that time of year for getting outside and enjoying the warm weather. Many of our summer activities and the products we purchase at this time of the year come with some risks, so here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe this summer.
Christmas trees and decorations
Be aware that real Christmas trees (traditionally pine) can become easily flammable as they dry after being cut.
Make sure that flammable items, including aerosols and lit candles, are kept away from the tree.
Check Christmas lights for loose wires as these are most likely to be unsafe.
Don't leave lights on overnight or unsupervised.
Keep lights away from flammable decorations and materials that can burn easily. Consider LED Christmas lighting as these operate at an extra-low voltage, minimising the risk of electric shock.
Read and follow manufacturer's instructions, including appropriate use of lighting. Never use indoor lights for outside decorations.
Make sure the gifts you're giving haven't been recalled or banned by checking the Product Safety Australia website.
Check that gifts for little ones are age appropriate and don't pose choking hazards. You can use the ACCC choke check tool for help.
Read warning labels and follow all safety instructions.
Button batteries are found in common household items - e.g. TV remotes, keys and garage remote fobs, toys and Christmas decorations. However they can cause serious injuries or death if swallowed.
Look for products that don't use button batteries at all when buying a toy, household device or novelty item.
If you do purchase items containing button batteries, ensure that they have a child-resistant battery compartment - eg secured with a screw - so that the product does not release the battery and it is difficult for a young child to access it.
If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26. If a child is having any difficulty breathing, ring triple zero (000).
Read more about button batteries on the Product Safety Australia website.
High powered magnets
Small high-powered magnets can pose serious health risks if swallowed. The magnets can attract and lock together across internal tissue which can cause perforations and blockages, so keep these magnets away from children at all times.
Magnets with a strong magnetic field may also cause permanent damage to credit cards, computer hard drives, watches, TVs, data storage and other electronic items.
They may be advertised as a toy, game, puzzle, construction or modelling kit, or jewellery to be worn in or around the mouth or nose.
Certain small high-powered magnets have been banned and recently recalled. See details on the Product Safety Australia website.
Read more about magnetic toys and novelties on the Product Safety Australia website.
Hundreds of children are taken to hospital every year in Australia for trampoline-related injuries, such as cuts, sprains and fractures.
Make sure you supervise and there's only one child at a time on the trampoline.
Always use safety padding on the frame.
Regularly check the condition of the trampoline.
Make sure there are no hazards around the trampoline.
Read more about trampoline safety on the Product Safety Australia website.
Aquatic toys and pool gates
Make sure the aquatic toys or flotation aids you're gifting haven't been recalled by checking the Product Safety Australia website.
Flotation aids and aquatic toys are not safety devices. Parents and carers should constantly watch children using these products. Make sure you buy toys that are appropriate for the child - e.g. check the age and weight restrictions.
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, and make sure there are no climbing aids nearby that kids could use to climb over the fence and access the pool area.
Read more about aquatic toys on the Product Safety Australia website.
When participating in recreational water activities such as boating, canoeing or water skiing, you are required by law to wear a life jacket.
Lifejackets must comply with certain safety standards, be well-maintained and be suitable for the type of recreational activity. Check the requirements for marine safety equipment in SA.
DIY car repairs and maintenance
On average, 5 Australians die each year as a result of do it yourself (DIY) car maintenance accidents and, since 2000, many hundreds have been hospitalised due to injuries.
Most fatalities happen when the victims are working under a vehicle and using equipment incorrectly, with many of those fatalities involving the use of vehicle jacks.
Always perform vehicle maintenance on a hard level surface - eg concrete - not on sand or a sloped surface. Use a trolley jack to lift the car before lowering it onto vehicle support stands.
- get under a car that's only supported by a jack
- exceed the jack's weight capacity
- allow a person or pet to remain in a vehicle while it's being jacked
- use makeshift support stands such as blocks of wood or bricks.
Read more about DIY car safety on the Product Safety Australia website.