Safety at home and in the car

Each year 40,000 under-fives are admitted to hospital following accidents, and lots of these accidents are preventable.

Choking

Food is the most common thing for babies and toddlers to choke on. Always cut grapes in half for babies and toddlers, never give them whole. Encourage children to sit down while they eat. Young children may also put small objects in their mouths that could cause choking. When friends and family buy toys for older siblings consider where and how the pieces will be stored away. Encourage older siblings to help keep them safe buy explaining the dangers.

Suffocation

Keep plastic bags, including nappy bags, out of reach and sight of young children.

Strangulation

Always keep curtain or blind cords tied up out of reach.

Falls

Use safety gates at the top and the bottom of stairs

Start to teach your child how to climb stairs but never let them go up and down on their own (even a four year old may need some help)

Ensure windows are fitted with safety locks, let the adults know where keys are kept in case of fire.

Use corner protectors to cover Sharp edges

Keep Sharp objects such as scissors out of reach

Poisoning

Ensure all medicines are locked away or high out of reach and sight.

Keep cleaning products locked away or high out of reach and sight.

Remember child resistant tops only slow children down, they aren’t child proof.

Keep e -cigarettes and their refills out of sight and reach . Nicotine is poisonous and can be very dangerous to young children

Burns and scalds

At bath time run the cold water in first, then add the hot. Check the temperature of the water before your child gets in and stay with them the whole time they are in the bath.

Keep all hot drinks away from children. A hot drink can still scald 15 minutes after it was made.

Keep matches and lighters out of reach and sight.

When buying a kettle choose one with a short or curly flex so that it doesn’t hang over the work surface where it could be grabbed.

Irons and hair straighteners keep hot long after use. Make sure they are put out of children’s reach to cool down

Keep button batteries out of reach and sight of small children as they can cause severe internal burns if swallowed

Drowning

Baths are the commonest place for a young child to drown. Never leave them alone in the bath, even for a moment. Empty the bath as soon as the child is out.

If you have a garden pond fence it, fill it in, or securely cover it. When visiting a new garden for the first time ask if there are any ponds, they aren’t always visible. Ensure that garden fences are secure. A child may get into neighboring gardens that have ponds or other drowning hazards.

House fires

Fit smoke alarms on every level and check them weekly, change the batteries every year.

Close all doors during the night to contain a potential fire. Switch off electrical appliances over- night. Have an escape plan for your family and practice it.

Glass injuries

Use safety glass that meets the British Standard (BS) kite mark at low level such as doors and windows as they shatter less easily.

Make existing glass safer by applying a shatter – resistant film.

Don’t let a baby or toddler hold anything made of glass

Sun Safety

The following link provides information on how to stay safe in the sun.

Getting around

Make sure the child seat for your car is the right one for your child’s height and weight and that it is fitted properly. The following is a dedicated child car seat website full of advice: Rospa child car seats

For advice on how to avoid accidents, visit The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents