DON’T LET YOUR CHILD’S BEDROOM BECOME A DEATH TRAP
(New Fall Prevention Regulations for Windows in Australia)
Children safety must be put first, so it is important for families to be aware of the dangers presented by windows and balconies in units or two-story houses and to consider which products would be best suited to protect their homes.
Thousands of children get injured every year due to falls from windows and balconies in Australia.
After several campaigns to inform parents about the risks associated with falls and confronted with accident numbers getting higher every year, the Government decided on a tougher approach.
From May 1st, all bedroom windows 2m or more above the ground in new homes and units have to be fitted with a barrier or locking device that prevents them from opening more than 12.5cm.
The changes were ratified by the Australian Building Codes Board, following years of lobbying by Kidsafe and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Dr. Danny Cass, a paediatric surgeon at the Westmead Children’s Hospital said recently at a press conference that children’s bedrooms should be a safe sanctuary, but they can become death traps.
Dr. Danny Cass is well aware of the dangers heights present to children, having met several victims and their families.
So what can parents do?
For windows, the cheapest alternative is to use locks. The problem is that the windows must remain permanently locked, if there are young children living in the house.
Other alternatives, suited for people who enjoy keeping their windows open are: window bars, safety nets or stainless steel screens.
Safety nets have the benefit of being virtually transparent, while the bars will obstruct the views, but they are both safe options and fairly easy to DIY install. Stainless steel screens are the most expensive alternative and must be installed by professionals, but they also work as a fly screen and burglar protection.
For balcony protection, the only product available in Australia to childproof the whole opening of the balcony is a safety nets system sold by a company called Safety Nets For Life.
Childproofing a balcony with safety nets can be a good idea, as the safety nets will transform the balcony into a safe outdoor space where children can have fun and play with things they normally wouldn’t be allowed to play inside, such as play dough, paint and chalk.
Please remember that the information given and the products referred to can reduce the likeliness of injury and are intended to help you provide a safer environment for your child. The effectiveness of suggested products depends on proper installation and use. There is no replacement for adult supervision.
Luciana Muratori: (02) 9909 1679 or 0404 573 733
 NSW Planning Minister Brazz Hazzard
Part 1 of media conference.
 Part of media conference.