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Health Minister supports Kidsafe Week

18 October 2001 Media Statement

Health Minister supports Kidsafe Week

Health Minister Annette King says all New Zealanders have a role to play in protecting our kids.

“Too many children in New Zealand are injured in a variety of ways that are largely preventable and I am fully supportive of initiatives like Kidsafe Week, when we can all look at things we can do for injury prevention."

She said the 41 children hospitalised each day with unintentional injuries was too many.

“As a parent myself, I feel very deeply for mums and dads who have to live with the consequences of children injured in motor vehicle crashes; killed by suffocation; scarred by scalding or harmed by the many other terrible injuries that occur to children.

“Accidents to our children are traumatic events for all concerned. Parents frequently worry about what they could have done to have prevented these accidents from happening. Kidsafe Week provides an opportunity for everyone to learn how to make their homes and communities not just child friendly, but child safe."

Mrs King said the Ministry of Health was currently considering whether child safety packaging should be required on a wider variety of medicines.

“As well as preventing poisonings from household chemicals and cleaners, we should examine what else can be done to prevent injury from medicines”.

Mrs King said it was worth reinforcing that child safety caps were child resistant, and not child proof. Other measures, such as suitable supervision of young children, remained of vital importance in keeping children safe.

“All medicines must be stored safely out of the reach of children. But when accidents do happen, parents or caregivers should seek help fast.

"Anyone suspecting a child may have possibly been poisoned should call the National Poisons Centre on 0800 POISON and to seek their urgent advice”.


Note: The Government currently funds child resistant caps for a range of dangerous medicines, in liquid form, including paracetamol, salicylates/NSAIDs, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, narcotics, beta-2–agonists, benzodiazepines, theophylline, iron salts, digoxin, cardiac drugs, and phenothiazines, including antihistamines. The Medicine Regulations 1984 also require certain classes of tablets to be provided in strip or blister packaging.

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