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Jun 25

A quarter of UK children come close to death or serious injury before they leave school

child safety week 2013New research out today (24 June 2013) shows just how much parents do to stop their children suffering horrific accidents. A quarter of parents (24%) say their child had a close call before leaving school. Two-thirds (67%) say they’ve had to save the day to prevent a serious accident. But parents play down their life-saving role and seriously underestimate the rescue service they provide.

The top hair-raising accidents that parents have saved their children from are:

· Stepping in front of traffic (54%)

· Falling down the stairs (29%)

· Suffering a serious fall from a highchair (20%)

· Falling out of an open window (12%)

· Drowning in the bath, in a pool or pond or in the sea (11%)

· Being badly scalded by a hot drink (11%).

Parents whose children had a close call with danger revealed an alarming number of near misses. 80% recalled around five narrow escapes. 20% reported up to ten close scrapes.

But the new research reveals parents seriously underestimate themselves and fail to recognise their actions as heroic. Most (94%) agree that rescuing a child from danger makes someone a hero and parents protect children from serious accidents every day. However, they are far more likely to see fire officers (64%) or paramedics (49%) as heroes than themselves or other parents (9%).

The findings are released to launch Child Safety Week, a national awareness campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). Commenting on the findings, Katrina Phillips, CAPT Chief Executive, said:

“Most parents whose children have had a near miss have been the ones to save the day. They’re on the frontline of accident prevention, the hidden heroes in our midst. Yet bizarrely they rule themselves out as safety heroes. And it’s not just the heroic rescues. Many parents don’t realise the life-saving importance of the small things they do every day to protect their children.

“Our message for Child Safety Week is you don’t need to be superhuman to be a Safety Hero. Putting your coffee cup out of reach, making sure the safety gate is closed, practising road safety with your children while you’re out walking – these small things all add up to children who are protected from serious harm. You can get tips on the simple things you can do to keep children safe from serious accidents from the Child Safety Week website www.childsafetyweek.org.uk/parents.”

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