Picking the right gift for family and friends can be quite challenging. Don’t leave the shopping till the last minute, Safekids Aotearoa, the injury prevention service of Starship Children’s Health, has gift recommendations to help keep loved ones safe this holiday and summer season.
“The coming season is unfortunately also called the Trauma Season, due to the dramatic increase in preventable deaths and serious injuries to children,” said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids New Zealand.
“Show family and friends that you care by giving gifts that they can enjoy and at the same time, keep them safe on the road, at home and at play.”
Top 5 gift suggestions from Safekids Aotearoa
- Bicycle Helmets. If bicycles are top of your child’s wish list, don’t Scrooge about getting a safety helmet. It’s a law to wear one when cycling in New Zealand. Safekids tip: Read the helmet instructions and make sure it is worn correctly. Research shows that correctly worn cycle helmets reduce the risk of severe brain injury by as much as 74%!
- Booster Seats. New Zealand’s child restraint law is changing! This means children up to 7 years old will be required to use child restraints soon. Safekids Tip: Don’t stop at 7--keep kids in an appropriate child restraint or booster seat until they are 148cm tall. This gives them the best chance of survival in the event
of a car crash, and allows them to ‘sit higher’ and enjoy the views during your next family road trip.
- For Dad: tools with safety locks. Nothing pleases Dad more than a brand new power tool. Safekids Tip: Buy tools with safety locks, and protect curious little hands by storing the tools out of children’s sight and reach.
- For the grandparents: a portable pool fence. A pool to keep cool in is a great motivation for the kids to see nana. Safekids tip: All pools, even small or portable ones, must have a fence. And even if you have a fence, always actively supervise children in and around water.
- Mum: working smoke alarms. It may not sound like a gift that will make mum jump for joy, but consider this: It could save your family’s lives in the event of a fire, and may also save her new clothes, furniture and shoes which dad is ALSO buying her for Christmas!
Gifts you SHOULD NOT get
- Neodymium magnetic desk toys. More than 200 children worldwide have swallowed these small, super strong magnets, with many requiring surgery after
ingesting more than one. Rather than passing through the body, the magnets grip together and pinch soft internal tissue.
- Baby Bath seats. These products give a false sense of security. Babies can slip or get trapped underwater using bath seats/ rings.
- Baby walkers. Using baby walkers, babies can fall down stairs or off decks, or poison themselves with medications and cleaning products parents thought were stored high enough.
And for those planning to send singing greeting cards or gifting musical books, inside these and other small devices (TV, car remotes and some bathroom scales) are very powerful, coin sized lithium batteries. When one of these batteries gets stuck in a child’s throat, it can cause severe (even fatal) injury. "Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure, and keep loose button batteries out of sight and reach of children,” Ann added.
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