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40,000 Parents To Now Receive Baby Quake Safe Material In Plunket Partnership

A partnership between EQC Toka Tū Ake and Whānau Āwhina Plunket will see more new parents than ever receive vital quake safety information to help keep their tamariki protected from harm if an earthquake strikes.

“Because they’re not able to protect themselves through Drop, Cover, Hold actions, babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to harm from events like earthquakes,” says EQC Public Education Manager Hamish Armstrong.

The improved partnership will see all parents of under-fives having easy access to quake safe information through Plunket’s ‘new baby bags’, and Plunket staff being upskilled in natural hazards safety to pass on to parents on their in-home visits.

Whānau Āwhina Plunket Chief Executive Fiona Kingsford says “we are proud to be working together with EQC to improve access to quake safety information for parents of tamariki under-five.

“We all know the devastation earthquakes cause, particularly here in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is so important for parents to have easy-to-follow quake safety information so they can be prepared and protect their little ones,” she says.

“There are many things we can do to ensure our pēpī are as safe as they can possibly be from the impact of natural hazards, like earthquakes,” explains Hamish.

“This includes moving heavy objects to a safer location lower down. This could be items placed on shelves, on top of wardrobes, or even in cupboards. Many cupboards come open during earthquake shaking and those items come out.”

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“It also means looking at where your baby is sleeping and making sure there are no objects above them that could fall, such as picture frames or mirrors hanging above the bassinet, cot or bed,” he says.

When hanging pictures frames and mirrors anywhere in baby’s room, stay away from single nails and instead use command strips or specialist hooks. Simply pushing the hook closed over a frame’s string will help keep the item in place.

“Secure items of tall and heavy furniture to wall studs, such as free-standing wardrobes, bookcases and drawers as these could topple over and cause serious injury to a baby or young child.

“And lastly, move beds, cots, and bassinets away from windows if you can,” says Hamish.

Parents with new babies will now also have access to information from NEMA and Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health on being prepared and how to feed babies safely in an emergency in their new baby bags.

The information will be available in English, Te Reo Māori and 10 other languages.

“We know that another damaging earthquake will happen, but we don’t know exactly when or where. What we do know is that preparing today will help protect your home and your whānau tomorrow,” Hamish says.

For more detailed information about making your home quake safe for your tamariki, head to: https://www.eqc.govt.nz/be-prepared/

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