Somerset County Council is promoting the annual Child Safety Week next week (6 -12 June), a community education campaign from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT).
The council works with partner organisations all the time to protect children and families. However, they are using this week to give extra emphasis to the precautions parents can take to prevent accidents and the support that is available.
During the awareness week, which this year has the theme ‘safety in mind’, the council will be sharing their top tips on what people can do to keep children safe – follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get the latest advice.
Over 1,000 Somerset children are hospitalised because of preventable accidents each year – most of them occur in their own homes. Nearly half of these injuries (46%) are because of falls; down the stairs, from high surfaces or windows. Other injuries include burns, scalds, and poisoning through eating inedible things.
Eligible parents can get free safety equipment through the Home Safety Scheme that can help protect children from some of these accidents – anyone wishing to access it can do through their health visitor.
Professor Trudi Grant, Somerset Director of Public health, said: “All children deserve to live their lives in a safe environment. This campaign is so important to raise awareness around the small steps that can be taken to prevent accidental child injury.
“Babies and children are constantly changing and developing and it’s important to consider safety while encouraging them to explore the world around them. We need to stay one step ahead; this can be helped by speaking to friends and family and asking your health visitor about preventing injury in the home. Thinking about home safety and safety when out and about is something we can all do.”
Top tips to keep your child safe:
- Beds and changing tables – never leave a baby on a raised surface like a bed or changing table as they may wriggle off.
- Stairs – always hold the handrail when carrying your baby up the stairs and fit a safety gate before your child is able to move around.
- Highchairs – always fasten the safety straps to prevent your baby from trying to climb out or reach for something, which could result in the chair toppling.
- Windows – fit safety catches and do not put furniture in front of windows that children can climb up.
- Car seats – make sure your car seat is the right one for your child’s height and weight and for your car.
- Baths – never leave a baby alone, even in a bath seat, not even for a moment.
- Button batteries – if your child swallows a button battery, it can get stuck in their food pipe. It can burn through to the main artery and badly harm or even kill them. If the battery compartment of an item is not secure keep it out of reach of children and store spare batteries securely.
- Prevent fires – keep matches, lighters and lit candles or tea-lights well out of reach of young children and teach children not to play with them. Do not plug too many appliances into an extension.
- Smoke alarms – make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your house and check them every month.
- Escape route – work out an escape route in case of a fire and teach your family it. Keep the stairs and escape route clear of clutter at all times. Keep keys to any doors on your escape route in one place so you know where they are in an emergency.
For further information on managing child safety go to the opens in a new windowChild Accident Prevention Trust website.