Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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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





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 During the 1993-94 surveillance period, many other children would have presented at other hospitals, general practice surgeries and community care centres as a result o f accidental injury. Consequently, the extent o f the child accident problem in the Northern Territory is even worse than the project figures indicate. It is important that we realise that the figures that I am presenting today are a preliminary overview o f the information gained from the Injury Surveillance Project so far. Detailed analysis o f the findings will be included in the final report. In many cases, these accidents are caused by the thoughtlessness o f adults as a result o f ill-considered, inadequate design of equipment that leads to accidents. Kidsafe stresses the need for education and implementation o f many simple preventive measures to ensure our children are as safe as they can be whilst they go about their daily lives. A few o f the suggestions include: always use baby capsules and child restraints in cars; install fencing that isolates your pool; always watch children near water, including the bath; insist that children wear helmets when riding bicycles, skateboards or horses; install smoke detectors; dress children in fire-resistant clothing; have an electrician install earth leakage circuit breakers in the family home; put poisonous products in a cupboard with a child-resistant lock; get rid o f old products no longer in use; put impact-absorbing material under backyard play equipment; use door and stair barriers as needed; lower the temperature o f hot water systems; and know what to do in an emergency. The Northern Territory branch o f Kidsafe aims to develop parent information kits designed to be distributed throughout maternity wards to all new parents. These kits will contain a child safety handbook and information on the services o f Kidsafe. Kidsafe would like also to implement a program to educate teachers and students on ways to prevent injuries in the playground and on the sports field. Kidsafe is aware that its resources to this stage have limited the amount o f education programs that it has been able to carry out in rural and remote communities. However, it aims to extend their focus to include safety issues that are particularly relevant to a child living in a remote rural location. Kidsafe is keen also to develop a series of radio and television advertisements to raise its public profile and to increase community awareness o f safety issues specific to the Territory lifestyle and conditions. I am pleased to announce today that the Northern Territory government is to assist Kidsafe by way o f a grant o f $34 000 to cover the staffing costs o f its Northern Territory branch. This funding will ensure that Kidsafe is better placed to continue its excellent work o f educating parents and the broader community on child safety issues. The government will continue to provide the office space on the first floor o f Health House where Kidsafe is presently located as well as the ongoing running costs o f the branch. As I have outlined, simple measures can be taken to prevent or lessen the impact o f accidents on our community. By studying the cause o f accidents, preventive programs can be developed. It must be more than coincidental that the death rate o f children from accidental injury has halved in Australia since Kidsafe began. It has been some time since members have experienced life as young children and we may have forgotten that children have no vote, no voice and no power. It is our responsibility, as adults and as parliamentarians, to ensure their well-being and safety for the future. This issue is o f major significance to the Territory and we must continue to work towards saving our children from preventable accidents and death. 1799