Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994
Parliamentary Record 6
Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 people are able to feel confident about making those moves and are able to slot in more readily. We have a long way to go in relation to preventive measures against injury, and I am referring to issues such as the hazardous waste that we store in our communities and family violence. Whilst I we are making inroads, we still have a long way to go to eliminate the major problem o f violence to children in our society. Mrs BRAHAM (Braitling): Mr Speaker, I rise to speak in support o f the ministers statement on child safety. It is very timely that the minister should present this statement at this time with Christmas and the school holidays coming up. Household routines will be severely disrupted over the coming weeks and people need to be alerted to matters o f child safety. The minister covered many areas, but I intend to highlight only a few. Statistics indicate that the home is actually the major location for injury to young children. Obviously, very young children spend a great deal o f time at home and are prone to suffer many injuries. We often make our homes livable for adults but not for young children. We forget the dangers that are there. Statistics indicate that causes o f most accidents are unintentional. Certainly parents are not creating hazards intentionally. At this time o f year, when extra children are visiting our homes, we need to be alert to hazards and to prevent accidents. Certainly, prevention is the way to go. Injury is a very big risk for our young children. Under 5-year-olds constitute a large proportion o f our population and also, unfortunately, the majority of victims o f these accidents. The minister mentioned the Early Childhood Injury Prevention Program, a program that was developed in Victoria in the early 1980s with the aim o f reducing accidents in the home by making changes to the home environment. It is basically about commonsense. No parent necessarily exposes their child to risks, but often the parents are simply unaware. This program has been highly successful. It is promoted by Kidsafe in the Territory and by professionals working with parents o f young children because it raises the awareness of parents o f the dangers they may have in the home. Basically, it has 3 fundamental principles. We know already about many safeguards for children. These measures are available at little cost and can be easily adopted. Child safety relates to knowledge about child development. Following the Victorian experience, the Early Childhood Injury Prevention Program was introduced in New South Wales and in the Territory. It has been a very successful program and has been adopted by preschools and child-care centres. Increasing awareness and the acknowledgment by the minister that child injury is a health issue and that there are measures that can be adopted to reduce its incidence is the thrust o f this program. There is a need for this attitude to be adopted, not only by the parents in the home, but in professional areas as well. Anything we can do to reduce the risk o f injury should be supported. Recently, the Office of Consumer Affairs issued warnings to parents in relation to the purchase o f toys over the Christmas period. We are all guilty o f buying a toy that appeals to ourselves rather than to the child for whom it is intended but, when buying toys, we must remember to keep the child in mind. We should buy something that the child can use and be very careful that the toy will not be hazardous to the child. We are well aware that small children are prone to put things into their mouths. If we give children toys that come apart easily, they are likely to stick small pieces in an ear or in their mouth etc. 1805
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