A Look At The Facts
Healthcare professionals have reported that four children are admitted to hospital every hour after suffering accidents in their own home. Nearly 100 babies and toddlers fill hospital beds every day. These figures are in stark contrast to the results of a survey, which shows that four in five parents of under fives believe their home is the safest place for their child.
While almost three-quarters worry about their child having a bad accident, nearly half believe there is nothing they can do to stop accidents from happening. Of even more concern is the one in five parents who think that ensuring their home is a safe haven for their child takes too much time and energy.
A recent study by the Child Accident Prevention Trust showed that children living in deprived families are more likely to be injured in preventable accidents in the home. Why? Some of the reasons discussed included:
- Overcrowded homes – children from overcrowded homes are 3 times more likely to be injured
- Lack of money to buy safety equipment
- Lack of a garden in which children can play
- Greater exposure to through-roads and roads without parking
- Higher parental smoking rates – poorer parents are more likely to smoke, smoking is a major cause of house fires, and households with smokers are less likely to have working smoke alarms
- Lack of accessible information – disadvantaged parents are six times more likely to have serious literacy problems. Parents who are long-term unemployed, young parents and parents from minority ethnic communities are over-represented among those with poor literacy.
- Parental understanding of child development, with deprived parents more likely to be taken by surprise by the next stage of their child’s development.
Ok, let’s not panic. We all know what we should be doing to prevent slips and trips for our little pleasure-seekers, but it’s hard for busy Mum’s (that don’t have four arms and two sets of eyes) to constantly keep watch for hazards in our seemingly safe home.
So, sometimes a few handy items, strategically placed in the house, go a long way to helping us keep our Goddess-like organisation… and peace of mind.
Today, 11 toddlers will swallow something so potentially harmful that they will be admitted into hospital. Detergent capsules and concentrated detergents can pose new risks to young children.
Keep all cleaning products and medicines out of reach and sight – ideally in a high locked cupboard. Use products with child safety caps and look out for products containing a bittering agent such as Bitrex®. Don’t forget the detergent capsules under the sink and the painkillers in your handbag.
The BabyDan adhesive cupboard lock is a low cost and effective way to easily keep harmful products locked away from curious fingers.
Today, 45 toddlers will be admitted to hospital because they’ve had a serious fall. Falls from windows can cause severe injuries or even death.
Every day this week, six children will be so badly burned that they will be admitted to hospital. Hair straighteners can still burn your child eight minutes after they’ve been unplugged.
Put your hair straighteners out of reach straight away after you use them. Remember to put hot drinks out of reach too, as they can still burn a small child 15 minutes after they’ve been made. Oven guards are a great safety measure to prevent spills and burns in the kitchen.
During Child Safety Week, two toddlers will be admitted to hospital because they’ve inhaled poisonous smoke from a fire in their home. A young child can die in under a minute from breathing in poisonous smoke.
Fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home and take a few minutes each week to check they are all working properly. Escape devices are a great time saver and will give you the peace of mind to know you can exit the house quickly if ever needed. Fireguards will protect little fingers from getting burned whilst playing – many which now come with extension packs allowing you to section off areas that pose danger to little explorers.
Safety-proofing your home needn’t be a mammoth task – use common sense and see the world through your childs eyes. What looks like a bottle of bathroom cleaner to you, to them, is a big bottle of colourful mystery waiting to be opened!…