Wellington’s rugby players will be taking a lead role in helping to keep New Zealand families safe around hazardous substances by partnering with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and its Safer Homes programme.
Players from the Wellington Lions and Women’s Pride teams will be helping to raise awareness of the need for care when using everyday chemicals – from cleaning agents, solvents, paints and thinners, to garden products such as insecticides and plant sprays.
Lizzie Wilson, spokesperson for the EPA’s Safer Homes Programme says: “Chemicals are a reality in our everyday lives and help make household chores easier for everyone. However, extra care needs to be taken to ensure they are used and stored safely away from children.
“Our research shows children are most at risk from accidental poisoning, as so many of these products can appear harmless and inviting to tiny hands and inquisitive minds. Around 6,000 of the 8,220 calls to the National Poisons Centre in 2015 involved children and hazardous substances.
“So it’s important to keep these products out of reach – that means locked up or on a high shelf.
“With the help of Wellington Rugby we’ll be visiting schools, communities, local shows and events over the summer, talking to children and their families about effective ways to stay safe.”
Wellington Rugby Chief Executive Officer, Matt Evans, says: “This is a great partnership which will see Wellington Rugby and our players involved in a great cause.
“Family is a hugely important aspect of rugby and we’re proud to be backing a programme which focuses on reducing harm from hazards around the home.”
The first school visit will be Pukeatua Primary School, in Wainuiomata, on Friday 31 August.
For more information about how to keep safe with hazardous substances go to epa.govt.nz/saferhomes