Product safety: 5 - 9 Years
How big a problem is it?
Children are vulnerable consumers and are potentially at risk of harm and injury from a wide variety of products. This is a relatively small area of risk for 5 – 9 year old children. There is however a particular issue with button batteries. See the Safekids & partners in-depth online resource for button batteries here.
Who does it affect?
While children under the age of two are at the highest risk of injury from swallowing products, there are still other risks to older kids in this age category 5 9 years. Key to risk management is information. We recommend making sure products are right for your child’s age. Most products that present risks are formally reviewed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise. They make their recommendations public and you can sign up to their product recall notice service here.
A key issue is that products can be imported that do not present a risk when retailers and consumers first see them. They may be on the market before authorities or injury prevention specialists are able to identify the problem. Toys with high-powered magnets are an example. If swallowed these can join up in the digestive system with such force they can crush tissue. Untreated, this can lead to major tissue damage, sepsis and even death.
There are a number of products that can present risks. Among them are super-absorbent polymers; button batteries; hot water bottles; bunk beds and cigarette-lighters. Please note this is not a list of every possible product. Use our 'top tips' for ways to ensure these and other products are safe for your child use. And see the lists that we link to at Consumer Protection below.
Ensure products meet an approved safety standard by checking the packaging.
Follow the instructions on how to assemble, maintain and use a product correctly.
Make sure products are stored appropriately and in a safe manner.
Products can deteriorate with use, so take a look at them regularly for broken parts.
Report any product safety concerns to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and also to the supplier or manufacturer.
If your child is injured or has a near miss with a product, MBIE encourage you to report it on their 'Report an unsafe product' page here.
Before you buy a toy, check that it is right for your child’s age. Remember, the smaller the child, the bigger the toy. If, for an example, a toy is small enough to fit into a toilet roll it’s too small for a child less than 3 years.
Choking: Partial airway obstruction in a Responsive Patient
Never use back blows on a person who is able to cough effectively or breathe.
Ask the patient ‘are you choking?’ to determine whether their airway is completely blocked. If they are unable to answer or make noise, treat as for total airway obstruction.
If they can answer or breathe:
1. Reassure and encourage the patient
Stay with the patient until full recovery has occurred.
Encourage the patient to cough and expel the foreign body.
If the obstruction is not relieved – call for 111 an ambulance.
Choking: Total airway obstruction
Call 111 for an ambulance.
1. If patient is conscious, give up to 5 back blows
With an adult or child, standing or sitting (and leaning forward), and using the heel of one hand, give the back blows between the patient’s shoulder blades.
Check between each back blow to see if the item has been dislodged.
Place a baby face down on your lap for the back blows. Ensure you support the baby’s head. Give firm back blows, checking between each to see if the item is dislodged.
2. If unsuccessful, give up to 5 chest thrusts
With an adult or child, standing or sitting, wrap both arms around the patient, at chest level.
Place one fist with the thumb side against the middle of the breastbone.
Grasp that fist with your other hand and give up to 5, separate, inward and upward thrusts.
Check between each chest thrust to see if the item has been dislodged.
Place a baby face upwards on a firm surface and give up to 5 sharp chest thrusts just below the nipple line, checking between each thrust.
The back blows and chest thrusts are given separately with a check after each one to see if the obstruction has been relieved.
3. If the obstruction has not been relieved
Ensure an ambulance has been called.
Continue alternating back blows and chest thrusts until the ambulance arrives.
If the person becomes unresponsive, begin CPR, using DRS ABCD, as below.
Airway obstruction in an Unresponsive patient
How you can help
Call 111 for an ambulance.
Quickly check the mouth
Use your fingers to remove any visible solid obstruction.
Begin CPR and continue until the ambulance arrives. There may be some resistance to inflations at first until the object has been dislodged.
To start CPR follow Drs ABCD
D Dangers? Check for any dangers to yourself such as electricity or traffic.
R Responsive? Check responsiveness by calling loudly and shaking the child's arm.
S Send for help. Dial 111 and confirm an ambulance is on its way. Use the appropriate emergency number in other countries.
A Airway. Open the airway by moving the head into a neutral position and lifting the chin. Do not tilt the head back too far.
B Breathing. Look and feel for movement of the lower chest and stomach area. Listen and feel for air coming from the nose or mouth.
C CPR. If the child is not breathing, start CPR - 30 compressions to 2 breaths. Put the child on a firm surface. Place the heel of one hand in the centre of the chest just below the nipples. Push down hard and fast 30 times in about 15 seconds (push down one-third of chest depth). Once you have completed 30 compressions (pushes) on the chest, breathe into the child’s mouth pinching their nose closed. Gently puff into the child until you see their chest rise. Continue with the cycle of 30 chest compressions and two breaths until the ambulance arrives.
D Defibrillator. Attach defibrillator as soon as it is available and follow prompts.
This page includes a link to the KidsHealth website CPR advice and a page containing the Basic Life Support Flow Chart. The Basic Life Support Flow Chart is developed by the New Zealand Resuscitation Council and Australian Resuscitation Council. For more information see www.nrc.org.nz. Choking first aid advice is modelled on the St Johns advice on their website (link below).
Links to Safekids’ resources
Links to other organisations’ resources