Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

Other title

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





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 2300 cases o f childhood injury each year. On average, 300 o f these children require hospital admission each year. Interim results from the Injury Surveillance Project show that falls are the major cause o f injury to children. Nearly 800 children who presented to the Royal Darwin Hospital Casualty over the surveillance period did so as a result o f falls. O f those children, 250 had broken bones and 112 required admission to hospital. Most o f the falls occurred in the home. It is imperative that parents are made aware o f simple measures that can be introduced to reduce the incidence o f falls. A significant number o f falls occurred in public recreation areas and these numbers can be reduced by installation o f suitably-designed playground equipment and the use o f impact-absorbing surfaces. The Darwin City Council currently is addressing the issue in council play areas. To its credit, the council is about to lay recycled rubber matting in the childrens play area in the Smith Street Mall. The council has already installed impact-absorbing surfaces underneath 40 to 50 playgrounds across the city. The council also is implementing a sunshade policy, using natural shade such as trees where possible. Members may have noted that the council also is removing pine log play equipment in Darwin and replacing it with equipment that complies with the draft Australian standards. I commend the Darwin City Council for implementing these initiatives. These measures will go a long way towards providing further protection for our children in parks and will reduce the risks to children posed by falls. In other results, the project revealed more than 200 cycle and traffic-related injuries. Traffic-related injuries represented 10% o f all children who presented at the hospital with accidental injury. Kidsafe is involved currently with the working party to establish restraint fitting stations throughout the Northern Territory. It is anticipated that these fitting stations would involve the participation o f registered motor vehicle agents to assist in ensuring that child restraints are fitted correctly in the vehicles, thus reducing the risk of injury and death to babies and children. The Motor Vehicle Registry in Darwin recently appointed a project officer for 3 months to establish appropriate child restraint fitting services. Also o f significance is the fact that 75 children presented at hospital with poisoning. While many o f the poisonings were caused by medications, many others were the result o f children gaining access to ordinary household products such as perfumes, aftershave lotions and dishwashing detergent. It seems that there is a lack o f awareness o f the potentially dangerous nature o f these substances. Clearly, further education in the community is needed. Other alarming statistics from the Injury Surveillance Project include the number of injuries caused by animals. In all, there were 33 separate dog attacks, 3 o f these being considered very serious, 14 children suffered snakebite and 9 suffered box jellyfish stings. The Darwin City Council is active in this area providing strict conditional registration for dangerous dogs, stiff fines for menacing or wandering pets and fencing regulations to keep dangerous pets from roaming the streets. Significantly, if pet owners continue to ignore or contravene council by-laws, the council has the power to evict the pet from the municipality. 1798