Hazard Alert – Cords in Hats

Today we were issued with a Hazard Alert by DECD regarding the following issue:

Cords, drawstrings and toggles in hats and children’s clothing may become entrapped in small gaps found in play equipment causing strangulation, severe injury, lacerations to the throat and damage to the vocal cords.

You may have read about an incident that recently occurred in a school playground which has prompted this alert.

As a result, I have been instructed to distribute the following letter.


Dear Parent / Carer,

An incident/accident has occurred recently at 2 sites resulting in injuries to students.

In one incident the student was using the junior primary play equipment and caught the hat that they were wearing in play equipment, resulting in a red welt on the child’s throat due to friction/burn.

The style of hat is our current school hat with an adjustable chin cord and to eliminate the risk of potential strangulation on playground equipment school staff will be removing the cords from these hats.

However there may be hats at home that are worn to school that have the cords and we request the following:

  • you inspect your child’s hat and if it has a cord, please immediately remove the cord as any hat with cords can no longer be worn at school; and
  • if you have concerns about the safety of the hat please speak with me or office staff.

The school will suspend further sales of this style of hat and seek further safety advice. Given this we are currently working to provide an alternative style of hat.

The safety of students at this site is of utmost importance, as such our school staff will continue to monitor and assess potential risks. When required we will modify or change processes to ensure our students get the best care

If you have any questions or comments regarding this matter please contact me, on phone 8270 4144

Paul Luke




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