This week is Family Safety Week (23 – 27 April). Whilst we don’t want to scare you too much; it is a sobering fact that accidents remain the biggest cause of child death in the UK and that 72% of accidents happen in the home. However much we may want to; we cannot wrap our children up in cotton wool.
So, we have done the next best thing and joined up with the team at Fred Safety to bring you their top tips for keeping our children safe at home. Fred Safety has developed a great range of quality child safety products. In fact, you won’t want to miss out on our competition this week, to win a Home Safety bundle worth over £200... keep reading to find out more!
Fred Safety Tips
The Child Accident Prevention Trust has outlined the 5 most common causes of accidents for children under 5s and here are our tips for each one:
1. Choking, suffocation and strangulation:
To avoid choking:
- Tidy up any small items (often bits of toys!) which may be a choking hazard.
- Use a Fred Choke Tester which helps you understand what to look out for, as offending items may be larger than you think: Coins behind sofa cushions, pen tops or batteries that may have rolled under the furniture etc.
- Encourage safe eating practices: Make sure your child sits down to eat; chops their food into smaller pieces and chews their food properly. You need to model this too as your child learns from you!
- Make sure you can see your child when he/she is eating so you can act quickly should he/she choke.
To avoid strangulation:
- Keep blind cords up out of the way (you can buy safety devices) as these are the most common cause of strangulation in children.
To avoid suffocation:
- Keep plastic bags, especially nappy sacks out of reach (watch out for this on your changing table).
- Make sure you use appropriate bedding that your child can’t slip under. Sleep bags for example can provide warmth for older babies.
Most children are admitted to hospital due to falls on/down stairs so make sure you:
- Keep a close eye on your little one (babies are talented explorers and climbers!)
- Buy well fitted safety gates. Pressure fitted gates need to be snug and tight against the wall. Never use pressure fitted gates at the top of stairs. You don’t want to trip over the pressure bar and fall down the stairs yourself. Use a screw-fit gate at the top of the stairs instead.
- Rearrange your furniture so something low doesn’t become a step to something higher.
- Move furniture away from windows. Even if there is a window lock, the glass could break and your child could fall through.
Over 100 toddlers are hospitalised every week due to poisoning so make sure you:
- Keep all medicines & household chemicals locked up.
- Choose cupboard locks which are easy to fit and reliable. You can fit quality Fred cupboard locks in seconds.
4. Burns and scalds:
The most common place for children to receive a burn injury is at home; with the most common cause being hot drinks so it is really important to keep them away from little people!
To avoid other common causes of burns in the home, make sure you:
- Turn saucepan handles away from the stove and use the back hobs when possible.
- Consider installing a Stove Guard to block access.
- Hide appliances, particularly hair straighteners which are causing an increasing number of burns in children.
- Put cold water in the bath first and then add the hot water. Mix the water well to avoid any hot spots.
- Check bath water temperature with a special thermometer (it should ideally be 37-38 degrees C) or by using your elbow. The water should be neither hot nor cold.
Your child can drown in as little as 5cm of water. Scarily, it happens silently with no struggle so there is no warning. Staying with your child is the only solution. Try using a ‘bath support’ if holding your baby over the bath hurts your back.
Just remember that none of us are perfect but we hope that these tips will help give you some practical ideas about how to make your home safer.
For Family Safety Week, we've teamed up with Cheeky Rascals and Fred Safety to offer a Home Safety Bundle worth over £200!
The lucky winner will receive a Fred Safety Clear-view stair gate worth £150, as well as a Home Safety Starter Kit, 2 Mini First Aid kits (one for the home and one for the car) and an Elly Elephant Bump Pad which can be chilled to soothe any bumps.
T&Cs can be found here.
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