Avoid tea-time terrors

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Parents are being urged to be aware of potential dangers around the home as we highlight national Child Safety Week.

The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘tea-time terrors’ − accidents that can happen when the home is busy in the afternoon and parents may be distracted or under time pressure.

These can include burns from cookers and scalds from spillages that may happen while parents are distracted by older children, phone calls or work issues, poisonings from hazardous household products left in the shopping bag on the floor, choking or suffocation from plastic shopping bags or nappy sacks left within reach, as well as falls from a highchair if parents are distracted from fastening the safety straps.

Other potential accidents may include risk of drowning in the bath while a parent leaves the room for a towel and road accidents during the busy home-time traffic.

Between 2010 and 2013, more than 800 babies and children aged up to four in Derbyshire needed an emergency admission to hospital following an accident in the home.

Injuries included falls from furniture, poisoning, burns, scalds and suffocation.

Cabinet member for health and communities councillor Dave Allen said: “A family home can be very busy at tea time and it’s easy to be distracted from keeping an eye on small children every single second.

“But the causes of most unintentional injuries to children aged under five are predictable and therefore preventable.

“Child Safety Week 
provides a useful focus to remind anyone who looks after babies and young children that a few simple preventative steps can avoid some nasty accidents.”

For more information on Child Safety Week, visit www.childsafetyweek.org.uk.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) also issues regular warnings about childhood accidents in the home. Visit their website at www.rospa.com/home-safety.