Friday 25 June 2010

Just two minutes a day can help prevent serious accidents - Child Safety Week 21st – 27th June

Healthcare professionals have reported that four children are admitted to hospital every hour after suffering accidents in their own home. Nearly 100 babies and toddlers fill hospital beds every day. These figures are in stark contrast to the results of a new survey, which show that four in five parents of under fives believe their home is the safest place for their child.

The survey, commissioned by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to coincide with the launch of Child Safety Week (21st – 27th June), also uncovered a feeling of helplessness among parents of young children. While almost three-quarters worry about their child having a bad accident, nearly half believe there is nothing they can do to stop accidents from happening. Of even more concern is the one in five parents who think that ensuring their home is a safe haven for their child takes too much time and energy.

But parents needn’t feel overwhelmed by accidents, as just two minutes a day making small changes in their home – the same amount of time it takes to clean your teeth each morning – can make a huge difference to their child’s safety.

CAPT has identified four key areas of risk to young children within the home and is encouraging parents to make small changes to reduce the risk of serious accidents.

Fact: Today, 11 toddlers will swallow something so potentially harmful that they will be admitted into hospital. Detergent capsules and concentrated detergents can pose new risks to young children.
Tips: Keep all cleaning products and medicines out of reach and sight – ideally in a high locked cupboard. Use products with child safety caps and look out for products containing a bittering agent such as Bitrex®. Don’t forget the detergent capsules under the sink and the painkillers in your handbag.

FallsFact: Today, 45 toddlers will be admitted to hospital because they’ve had a serious fall. Falls from windows can cause severe injuries or even death.
Tips: You can prevent serious falls by fitting safety catches to stop your windows opening too wide. Safety gates can prevent serious falls on the stairs.

Fact: Every day this week, six children will be so badly burned that they will be admitted to hospital. Hair straighteners can still burn your child eight minutes after they’ve been unplugged.
Tips: Put your hair straighteners out of reach straight away after you use them. Remember to put hot drinks out of reach too, as they can still burn a small child 15 minutes after they’ve been made.

FireFact: During Child Safety Week, two toddlers will be admitted to hospital because they’ve inhaled poisonous smoke from a fire in their home. A young child can die in under a minute from breathing in poisonous smoke.
Tips: Fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home and take a few minutes each week to check they are all working properly.

To mark Child Safety Week, the Child Accident Prevention Trust is asking parents to make time for safety by pledging their time on-line, anything from 30 seconds to an hour each day, and by finding out how they can protect their children from serious accidents.

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