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Queensland Mum Warns About the Dangers of Broad-Brimmed Hat Cords

The young girl was badly hurt by the cord of her wide brimmed hat

Queensland Mum Warns About the Dangers of Broad-Brimmed Hat Cords

A TOOWOOMBA mother has a warning for parents after her youngest daughter was badly hurt when the cord of her school hat wrapped around her neck in a playground accident.

This instantly gave me chills, endless images of sleepless nights come flooding, your greatest fears and ‘what if’ scenarios, spiraling, and right up there pinned with with a bullet are cords and entanglement.

The Chronicle reports that earlier this month, the Year 1 student, was playing with her friends at recess when she jumped from the climbing net on the side of the playground. That was when her broad-brimmed hat became stuck between the nets, leaving her hanging by the neck for a few seconds before the cord snapped. Thankfully suffering only bad rope burn around her neck, her mum, (who wishes her family to remain anonymous), is now plagued with the fear that it could have been so much worse.

Picking your child up from school and realising they were hanging by the neck is a mother’s worst nightmare.

“When I bought the hat I wondered if it was safe having a cord around my little girl’s neck but I thought it must be safe if it is a compulsory school uniform,” she said. “But as a parent I should have realised it wasn’t a good idea.”

The mother wanted to tell her daughter’s story to make other parents aware of the possible dangers of broad-brimmed hats

Kidsafe Queensland CEO Susan Teerds said it was a preventable incident.
You used to hear of this happening more often before the quick release clip-on broad-brimmed hats were introduced a few years ago,” she said.
“Broad-brimmed hats now come with small clips attached to the string and under a small amount of pressure the string releases, to avoid this happening. Every school and chain store needs to recommend these hats to parents. They should be available to all schools.
“We know that having a drawstring around a child’s neck can be a hazard so we need to do anything we can to make it saferOne injury is one injury too many and children could even die from this. The shock of it would have been horrendous for the young girl.”

Secure safety clip

The Toowoomba mother said the quick-release hats were not available at her school. “I did some research into these hats and my school doesn’t offer them and I don’t know how many other schools around Toowoomba also don’t stock them,” she said. “I have suggested it to the principal that they become available.”

Having read this I ran, emptied the messy insides of my kindy aged son’s backpack and grappled for the cord of his hat, it has the clip, the security clip, and I breathed a quick sigh of relief as thats one less worry to keep me up at night. This freak accident has sadly, at the expense of a very frightened little girl and distraught mother, highlighted a potential risk to the health and safety of our little ones. It is real and if it is something you are not comfortable with for your child, question compulsory uniforms and seek alternative and safer options.

Laura Sheehan

Laura Sheehan is an early childhood teacher and Perth based mum of two to Brody aka 'The Hurricane' and Daisy aka 'Little Ray of Sunshine.' Laura hosts a small blog The Whole Mummy looking at all things Mummy, the good, the bad and the ugly with brutal truth and honesty. Laura works closely with the Meningitis Centre Australia, having nearly lost her Hurricane to Meningococcal B Meningitis, as well as the Stillbirth Foundation Australia due to the heartbreaking stillborn loss of her second son Beau. Laura, along with her former Wallaby husband and their family aim to promote awareness of these two tragedies, offering support and encouraging greater understanding of each. They are ambassadors for both the Men Centre and The Stillbirth Foundation You can follow and learn more about Laura's story on her blog thewholemummy.com and her social media (Instagram and facebook links).

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