School holidays are a much anticipated occasion for children all around the country – so make sure it’s a time of fun and relaxation, and not spent in the emergency room.

Each year, thousands of youngsters end up in hospital after injuring themselves at home.

The latest statistics from Monash University’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit show that almost 36,000 children were treated for falls and over 4,000 needed medical attention for cuts/punctures.

Child safety spokeswoman Melissa Abalo, from Homesafe Kids, says it’s easy for such incidents to occur over the winter break.

“When children gather, they’re more likely to be excited, distracted or playful. It takes but a second for somebody to jump off a table and hurt themselves or run around and bash into a glass door,” she says.
“What makes these situations more unfortunate is that, with a little precaution, they are one hundred per cent preventable.”

Nevertheless, many houses have the safety odds stacked against them.

Data collected from Homesafe Kids assessment show that nearly all Victorian houses inspected have accessible kitchen hazards and a quarter do not have safety glass installed.

Statistics also show that 43 per cent of inspected homes have stairs that do not comply with current safety codes.

“There’s really no excuse for poor safety standards in a family home. These measures can save lives and prevent injuries – doubly as important when you’re taking care of somebody else’s children, too,” Abalo points out.

A D.I.Y. guide to safety-proofing your house can be found at, but in the meantime, parents should apply common sense:

  • Block off areas that are suitable for children to play in. Limit access to the kitchen, stairs, pool, garage, and any other potential hazard zones.
  • Check the thinness of glass – if not up to standard, or if in doubt, keep out of reach of children.
  • Should you have pets, ensure they are kept at bay from children’s play areas or supervised at all times when in their company.
  • Store medicines, alcohol and cleaning products well away.