Keeping young children safe at home is top of the agenda during the UK’s first Family Safety Week
‘Looking around your home from a child’s point of view’ was the theme of day one of the week, which was launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to help people protect their loved ones from accidents.
Accidents are the UK’s biggest killer of children, with under-fives being most at risk in the home. Hospital admissions after accidents involving this age group have been rising by about five per cent per year.
Falls account for about 48 per cent of home accidents involving under-5s. Scalds, burns, poisoning, cuts, suffocation, choking and strangulation are other key causes.
Most home accidents involving children happen in the living/dining room. However, the most serious accidents happen in the kitchen and on the stairs.
In 2012/13, more than 45,000 under-fives suffered accidental injuries which resulted in an admission to hospital in England, and the bulk of these accidents would have been in the home.
Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said:
“Children under five naturally like to explore the world around them. It’s important not to wrap them in cotton wool and to remember that bumps and bruises are a normal part of childhood. But simple things, like looking around your home from a child’s point of view, can help you spot the more serious hazards that you might have missed and take steps to make them safer.
“For example, looped blind cords hanging within a child’s reach should be tied up and low-level cupboards containing household cleaning products could have locks fitted or the products could be moved to higher cupboards.”
Parents and carers can find information on how to keep children safe at home at Familysafetyweek.org.uk.