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With schools now closed for the summer holidays, children will be looking for new ways to entertain themselves.

Accidents are the biggest killer of children and young people. Whereas workplace accidents have been steadily falling for decades, accidents in the home are responsible for the deaths of more than 6,000 people in the UK every year, with another 2.7million attending A&E departments. At least half of all under-5s will attend A&E this year because of an accident and every week at least one child under-5 is killed because of an accident, with disadvantaged children most at risk.
 

 

More people are now working at home where Home Working Risk assessments should have been carried out, considering things such as overloaded plug sockets, tripping over computer cables etc. Organisations have begun to shift their focus onto educating their staff to keep themselves and their families safe in their own homes, as well as in the workplace.

With a little more forward planning and care, most accidents could be avoided.

Follow these safety tips to help prevent accidents in the home:

  • Make sure you buy children’s toys for the correct age group and from reputable sources that comply with standards (e.g. The Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995)
  • Remember to buy batteries for toys that need them – that way you won’t be tempted to remove batteries from smoke alarms
  • Look out for small items that could pose a choking hazard to young children, including parts that have fallen off toys, button batteries and burst balloons
  • Ensure plastic bags (including nappy sacks) are out of reach to prevent choking
  • Use a water thermometer to check bath water temperature and prevent burns or scalds
  • If you blinds on the windows, ensure you have them secured with child safety clips to prevent strangulation on a looped blind cord
  • Keep all cleaning products out of children’s reach to prevent accidental poisoning
  • Keep items away from fires and other heat sources such as light fittings. Don’t leave burning candles unattended, make sure you put them out before going to bed.
  • Don’t let children play with lights and remember to switch off lights when going out of the house
  • Keep decorative items high up where they are out of the reach of young hands
  • When preparing meals, give yourself enough time to prepare and cook to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from rushing, and keep anyone not helping with dinner out of the kitchen.
  • Wipe up any spillages quickly to prevent slips and falls
  • Always use scissors to open packaging, not a knife, and have screwdrivers at the ready to assemble toys
  • Do not have trailing cables and wires around the home, major trip hazard
  • Falls are the most common accidents so try to keep clutter to a minimum. Make sure stairs are well-lit and free from obstacles
  • If planning fireworks at home, plan well in advance and follow the Firework Safety Code

Whether you’re a parent or carer, a grandparent, a health visitor, a nursery nurse, or a company, simply share our tips with friends or on social media. Who knows? You could save a little life

You can get further resources from the RoSPA website or if you require support with any risk assessments, including in the home, email us or call us on 0117 958 2070