Small steps to safety make a big difference to children...
19 June 2012
Carrickfergus Borough Council is calling on all families to take small steps to safety this Child Safety Week to make a difference to Children’s safety in Carrickfergus.
The theme for this year’s Child Safety Week is Small steps to safety and its aim is to secure a safer environment for children and young people, so they can live life to the full without unnecessary hazards and is running from 18th June – 24th June 2012.
Accidents are the second biggest killer of children in the UK. Thousands more are left with injuries that take years to heal. The long-term psychological impact on children, and their families and friends, can last a lifetime, as can the scars.
Yet the steps that keep children safe from serious accidents are the small steps taken every single day by many parents, grandparents and carers as well as by children and young people themselves. Be it putting their hot drink safely out of reach, teaching children how to cross the road safely, strapping their child into their car seat each time or fitting, and regularly checking, smoke alarms.
By building small steps to safety into your everyday routine, safety habits will become second nature and not forgotten. In doing this you can help reduce the chances of your children being needlessly killed, disabled or seriously injured as a result of preventable accidents.
Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) has identified small steps to safety to help reduce the risk of serious accidents.
Small steps to prevent burns and scalds
Fact: A baby’s skin is 15 times thinner than an adult’s. That is why they can easily get very badly burned.
Tips: Make a rule for yourself that you will always but your baby down before you pick up a hot drink. Remember hot drinks can still burn a small child 15 minutes after they’ve been made.
Small steps prevent poisoning
Fact: It can take just seconds for some 3 or 4 year olds to open child –resistant tops. They’re not childproof! Cleaning products and DIY chemicals can be very dangerous if children drink them. To a toddler even the cleaner left at the side of the toilet can be interesting enough to drink.
Tips: Check all cleaning products and medicines are stored out of reach and sight of young children – 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.
Small steps to prevent serious falls
Fact: Most serious falls happen when children take their parents by surprise by doing something they didn’t know their child was able to do.
Tips: Be careful not to put furniture in front of windows to stop children climbing up and falling out. Fit safety catches to stop your windows opening too wide. Safety gates can prevent serious falls on the stairs.
Small steps to prevent drowning
Fact: Babies drown silently. So you won’t necessarily hear any noise or struggle.
Tips: Always stay with your baby or young child when they are in the bath. Empty the paddling pool as soon as you’re finished rather than leave it for the next day.
Small steps to prevent choking and strangulation
Fact: It can only take 20 seconds for a toddler to die from strangulation if they get tangled in a blind cord. Two children die this way each year.
Tips: Keep cots, beds and highchairs away from blind and curtain cords. Drawstring bags hung over a cot, chair or door handle can cause strangulation if a child falls onto them so take care where you put them.
Small steps to prevent road accidents
Fact: The numbers of children injured as pedestrians peaks at the 11 age group when many children start travelling to school on their own.
Tips: Follow good road safety yourself to set a good example and avoid dashing across the road. Children are likely to copy you if you take risks.
Small steps to preventing fires in the home
Fact: Chip pans and greasy grills pans are common causes of house fires.
Tips: If the alarm keeps going off while you’re cooking don’t remove the battery from your smoke alarm – the chances are you’ll forget to put in back. Move it further from the kitchen or change it for one that has a silencer button or one that is ‘toast-proof’.
For further information please contact:
Telephone: 028 9335 8000