Somerset families are encouraged to take basic steps to keep safe and prevent accidents and injuries in the home.
‘Safety made simple’ – that’s the message from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), supported by Somerset Council, as part of Child Safety Week which starts today (5 – 11 June)
More than 1,000 Somerset children are hospitalised each year because of preventable accidents – 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 so through their health visitor.
Councillor Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset Council, said:
“All children deserve to live their lives in a safe environment. This campaign is so important as it helps to raise awareness of the simple steps that can be taken to prevent accidental injury to children.
“Babies and children are constantly changing and developing, and we all need 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.”
Knowing how to keep our children safe, or how to respond when accidents happen can be the difference between a quick trip the medicine cabinet rather than the hospital for something more serious. By incorporating simple safety practices into our routines, we can significantly reduce the risks that children face.
Top tips to remember:
- Everyone loves a BBQ when it’s sunny, remember that the ground underneath a BBQ or a firepit can stay hot enough to cause a serious burn for a long time after it’s been used.
- Stay with children when they’re eating and encourage them to sit still to reduce the risk of choking.
- Grapes are the perfect size and shape to completely block a child’s airway and, due to their texture, they can be difficult to dislodge. We advise cutting them in half lengthways and ideally into quarter to create thin strips.
- Outdoor play is a great way for kids to burn off energy. Make sure chemicals like weed killer, fertiliser and garden tools are locked away. It’s important to remember to keep batteries, liquitabs and clean products locked away inside the house also.
- Babies and toddlers can drown in as little as 5cm of water so always be alert near water.
- Keep low furniture away from open windows so that children can’t climb up and fall out – even on the ground floor. It’s a good idea to install window catches (to limit how far the window can open) and locks if you can.
- Don’t forget to tie up looped blind cords and chains well out of the reach of small children, using a cleat, cord tidy or tensioner.
- 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.
For more resources and information visit their Healthy Somerset website.
For further information on managing child safety go to the Child Accident Prevention Trust.