Child safety in the home
Around 2 million children are taken to accident and emergency every year because they’ve been hurt in accidents. 120,000 are admitted to hospital.
Falling down the stairs, getting burns or scalds, or swallowing harmful substances are accidents that are still far too common in the home and can be avoided by taking a few simple steps to make the home a safer environment.
We recognise that children should not be prevented from learning and developing naturally but they need to grow in a safe environment protected from serious harm.
Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is a good way for parents to be more aware of the possible danger points and make their home safer. Below are some simple but practical tips on how parents can reduce the risks within their home and make it a safer environment.
Simple steps you can take to make your home a safer place
Burns and scalds
- Over 500 under 5s end up in casualty each week with burns and scalds suffered at home.
- Always keep anything hot out of young children’s reach – things like hot drinks, kettles, pots and pans, hair straighteners.
- Use the back rings of the cooker where possible and keep children away from oven doors.
- Also, when running a bath for your child, top up cold water with hot, and stay with them during bath time.
- Every week, almost 800 under 5’s are taken to hospital after tumbling down stairs and almost 2,000 after falling from a building.
- Fit safety gates to your stairs and locks or catches to stop windows opening more than 2.5”/6cm.
- Always change your baby on the floor, rather than a raised surface from which they could fall.
- Around 500 under 5’s each week end up in A& E as a result of suspected poisoning, having swallowed either medicine or painkillers, or household cleaning fluids.
- Keep medicines and cleaning products out of sight and out of reach of young children – preferably in a locked cupboard.
- Remember that ‘child resistant’ packaging makes it harder for a child to open – not impossible.
- Every year, children under 10 accidentally cause 6000 house fires.
- Fit and maintain a smoke alarm – ideally one on every level of your home – and test it regularly.
- Keep matches and lighters out of children’s sight and reach.
To find out more information visit: www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeandCommunity/InYourHome/FireSafety/index.htm
You could be entitled to free child home safety equipment
- The government has committed to spend £18million, providing home safety equipment to those that need it most.
- Families could be eligible for free home safety equipment, such as safety gates and fireguards, to help protect their children from accidents at home.
To find out more and see if you could get safety equipment for your home then visit The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents