Plunket's summer safety tips

Plunket is encouraging families to keep an eye on the kids while they make the most of the summer holidays.

Plunket National Advisor on Child Safety, Sue Campbell says “Summer is all about fun, family, friends and hopefully some sunshine.  But it’s also a time when sunburn and accidents are all too common.”

“Children are often travelling with different family or friends so it’s important their car seats travel with them.  If that’s not possible,  Plunket can help with short-term hire but this needs to be planned well ahead as there is high demand on this service.

“It’s also really important to keep children within arm’s reach whenever you are at the beach, down by the river or near a pool - if you can’t grab them you can’t save them.  At big family gatherings, people often put someone in charge of watching children swimming or playing in the water and this is a really good idea. So far this year, 11 children have drowned, 7 of them under 5 years old. This is the same total as for the whole of last year.

“While you’re outside, remember the slip, slap, slop and wrap message. Slip into some shade and some cool cover-up clothes, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat and don’t forget the sunglasses.  Burns aren’t just caused by the sun.  Watch out for the children while you are barbecuing or enjoying a bonfire.  If you have lots of visitors staying, it also pays to check your smoke alarms are working and make sure everyone knows how to escape if there is a fire or other emergency.”

Plunket is concerned by a recent spate in fatal driveway accidents. There are unofficial reports of 7 children and toddlers being killed this year after being hit by a vehicle in a drive way.  Safekids Aotearoa figures show that each year about 5 children die as a result of drive way accidents and a further 26 need hospital care.

“Always know where the kids are before getting in the car. Supervise children around vehicles, and check for children before driving off.”

Each year, around 2,600 children under 5 years old are hospitalised and between 50 and 65 die as a result of an accident of one kind or another (Source: Otago University Injury Prevention Unit 2008-2012 statistics) . Last year ACC received almost 117,000 claims for injuries to children under 5 years old.

The most common cause of accidental death among children under 5 years old involve motor vehicles.  Next most common is drowning and suffocation. (Source: NZ Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee 2013 report – analysis of deaths between 2008-2012.)


ACC Child accident statistics for under 5 years old attached for 2013 and 2014 to December, broken down by local government authority.  Injury and death statistics for local territorial authorities to 2012 can be easily sourced using this online tool.

For more information contact:

Jen Riches | Plunket Media Manager | 021 405 842 |

About Plunket

For over a century Plunket has supported New Zealand parents to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies.

Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five.

Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 300 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).

Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.

For more information visit

About BNZ – Principal Sponsor

Bank of New Zealand is proud to work hand in hand with Plunket to bring young New Zealand families support when they need it most.

BNZ is proud to have been a part of New Zealand since 1861 and looks forward to supporting another organisation that has been integral to our country's upbringing.

Tags: 0 Comments Posted by Jen Riches on 12 December 2014

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