Safety in the Home
June 7th to 13th was Child Safety Week in England. Child Safety Week is run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented.
More than two million children under the age of 15 experience accidents in and around the home every year, for which they are taken to accident and emergency units. Many more are treated by GPs and by parents and carers. On average 62 children under the age of five died as a result of an accident. (Child Accident Prevention Trust 2017)
This page gives you some handy hints and resources for keeping your little ones (and bigger ones) safe.
Factsheets from the Child Accident Prevention Trust
Around the home
Things that can choke or strangle or poison
Blind Cords – it can take only 20 seconds for a toddler to die from strangulation if they get tangled in a blind cord.
Please also see our page about blind cord safety.
Food, drink and small toys – chocking can be silent with nothing to warn you that something is wrong. Babies can choke on liquids and can’t push a bottle away.
Nappy Sacks – young babies naturally grasp things and put them to their mouths, but don’t have the ability to pull things away. This means they can suffocate on nappy sacks.
Laundry and cleaning products– Liquitabs make laundry easy. But the bright colours and squeezable texture make them attractive to babies and small children and the concentrated detergent is harmful if swallowed. Brightly coloured cleaning products can also be attractive to small children.
Pain killers – everyday pain killers and other medicines are the most common way for young children to be poisoned.
E-cigarettes and air fresheners– e-cigarette refills can contain high levels of nicotine which can make children ill if swallowed. Young children can mistake an air freshener bottle with reed diffusers for a drink with a straw.
Internal burns from button batteries – if swallowed, a button battery can burn through a child’s throat and lead to serious internal bleeding and even death.
Please also see our page about button batteries.
About 13 child deaths (under 5 years) each year are due to drowning. 1 in 4 of these drowning deaths occurred in a bath. For each drowning death there are 8 drowning events serious enough to require hospitalisation. Bath seats do not prevent drowning.
To keep your little one safe at bath time:
- run the cold tap and then the hot
- never leave your little one in the bath alone – not even for 1 minute
- keep you little one within arm’s reach
- empty the bath after use
- learn simple resuscitation skills
Please also see our page about how to resuscitate a child.
Follow the six steps to safe sleep:
- keep baby away from smoke before and after birth
- put baby in a cot, crib or moses basket to sleep – never fall asleep with them on a sofa or chair
- never fall asleep with baby after drinking or taking drugs/medication
- put baby to sleep on their back with their feet to the foot of the cot
- keep baby’s face and head uncovered and make sure they don’t get too hot
- breastfeed your baby – support is available if you need it
For further information regarding safe sleeping practices please access the Merseyside Multi-Agency Safe Sleep Guidance on WSCP website and the Lullaby Trust:
Resources and Useful Links
Awareness raising posters from the WSCP