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Jun 18

Child Safety Week kicks off with new research

‘New research for Child Safety Week reveals that child safety is threatened by stressed parents struggling with work pressures. Exhausted British parents no longer have enough time to prevent accidents and face more pressure than ever before according to the survey.’

How true is this – i am constantly juggling and rushing to take my children from one event to another, then to do the weekly shop, then to sort out some badly needed paper work, remembering to call my mother, the school, to confirm the gas man appointment, and so it goes one. With all this on the go I can often forget to ensure my 9 years old has safely placed her seat belt on, thinking we are only going around the corner ( most accidents in the car happen a few miles from home); I allow my 6 year old to sit in the bath while i run downstairs to iron her uniform ( a child can die in only a few inches of water); upstairs my teenager is curling her hair with some very hot hair curlers ….  it is so easy to think an accident will not happen to your family….. but please lets all try to take one small step to ensuring we have far fewer accidents.

Here are 10 accident prevention messages we can all try to act upon this week and beyond

* Every day 11 toddlers are rushed into hospital because it’s thought they’ve swallowed something dangerous. Detergent capsules and concentrated detergents are really convenient but pose new risks to young children. If yours are under the sink, take a couple of minutes to move them to a high cupboard or one with a lock, away from little hands.

* Remember some 3-4 year olds can open child ‘resistant caps in seconds (child ‘resistant’ doesn’t mean child ‘proof’), so keep medicines in a locked or high cupboard too. Don’t forget the painkillers in your handbag!

*  6 toddlers are admitted to hospital every day because they’ve been so badly burned. A hot drink can burn a young child even 15 minutes after it has been made, so put your baby down before you pick up yours and don’t pass hot drinks over children’s heads.

* A 1/3 of children and young people injured crossing the road admit they didn’t stop at the kerb and just as many said they didn’t even look. Remind your children this morning of the dangers.

* At least 2 children every year die after getting caught in a blind cord and being strangled. It takes seconds to tie yours back round a hook to keep loops out of reach of climbing children. Move children’s cots, beds and highchairs away from window blinds too.

* In five seconds a toddler’s skin can be burned so badly by hot tap water that they need to go to hospital. So take a second to put the cold water in first and top up with hot, then test the water with your elbow, to reduce the risk of your child being burned.

* Hair straighteners ( and curlers) stay hot enough to badly burn a child 8 minutes after being unplugged. So take a moment to lift them off the floor or the door handle and put them where they can’t be reached.

* Every day 45 toddlers are admitted to hospital after a fall. Take the time to fit a window lock so it will only open to 6cm (2.5 inches). Falling downstairs can damage your babies brain as well as their body so make sure you use safety gates on stairs.

* Thick, black smoke from a fire can fill your home in minutes and kill your child in seconds. So get a smoke alarm fitted on every level of your home and test it regularly.

* Toddlers can choke on food that’s too big, even just the size of a grape. Take a minute to cut their food up into small pieces.

visit www.childalert.co.uk for more advice and tips on child safety in the home

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