The single most important child safety measure since the invention of the car seat

Three children die as a result of an accident every week.

More than one million children between the ages of 0-14 years go to an Accident and Emergency Department every year. 

These are horrific statistics and mostly because as carers of children we under estimate their curiosity to explore and involve themselves in dangerous activity. We also misinterpret our children’s energy and strength. Many accidents are caused through an object being struck or thrown, or children being pinched or crushed.

Most accidents according to the dti occur during play, and cause some form of open wound to the head, face, arm or lower limb.

The most frequent form of injury is the result of a fall, while accidental fire causes the highest deaths.

While many accidents are caused outside in the streets and playground, many are caused in the home.

A lot of parents have no idea how dangerous a home can be. Curious children left unattended even for a moment will wander into rooms that hold potential dangers.

Stairs, sharp corners, electric sockets and wires, door hinges, bookshelves, photo frames all attract danger.

The largest number of accidents happen in the lounge/dining/living room areas of the home. And most occur during the hours of 6-7pm in the evening. This is a time when both the carer and the children are tired.

The kitchen is also a frequent danger zone – kettles can be pulled over, cupboards explored, ovens tampered with – 10% of all accidents happen in the kitchen.

This is quickly followed by the stairs – 8% of accidents occur here – and then the garden. Carers forget the potential dangers of the garden – plants, garden utensils, and all that is contained in a garden shed.

Most common type of accident in the home 0-14 years

• Fall (slip/trip/tumble)

• Struck – static and moving object

• Pinch/Crush

• Bite/Sting

• Acute Overexertion (especially in 6-14 years)

Top 5 most serious places where injuries occur in the home 0-14 years

• Kitchen

• Lounge / Living area

• Stairs

• Bedroom area incl Bathroom

• Garden (grass and plant beds)

Baby /Child Proofing the home is the single most important child safety measure since the invention of the car seat.

This is best described as the creation of a baby/child safe environment. For starters, when your baby begins to crawl, go down on your hand and knees and image the opportunity to pull or pick up items in your view, to poke fingers into video recorders or chew wires ….

Here are some handy Childalert tips: .

• Untidy homes cause the most danger

• Playpens are dangerous if overcrowded with toys – children can climb and often fall

• String attached to toys can cause children to get tangled up

• Washing machines are of huge interest to children – left open children often climb into them

• Washing piled high on the floor cause over 5000 injuries every year where children have tripped and fallen

• Doors should be either open with a catch or closed – fingers caught in door hinges are common

• All glass doors should be protected by safety glass film so if the glass shatters it does not break into slithers which can puncture and cause difficult injury – the same applies to photo frames – children often pick these up and if they break can cause serious injury.

• Free standing bookshelves can tumble on top of children

• 11,000 injuries are caused through toilet seats, either falling and trapping fingers or children climbing and falling in.

• Foam toys are a danger and if swallowed can cause choking

• 9000 injuries are caused through cotton buds being poked too far into ears or up noses, some even swallowed

• Same applies to lollie sticks – every week children are taken to A&E with a stick lodged down a throat. Splinters from the sticks are also a danger.

• Toys positioned by a window sill are dangerous – children will climb on top of them and can fall onto or out of a window.

• Cat flaps often have children’s heads stuck in them.

• Fireplaces must be protected by a fire guard.

Childalert an information service for parents and carers of children, with details on Babyproofing, Poisonous Garden Plants, Barbeques, Summer Sun, First Aid, Garden Safety, Kids Activities, Nannyboard, Swimming and a lot more.

Every home should have a Nannyboard – the emergency organiser. Accidents do happen and you should be prepared incase one happens in your home and even in your absence. A Nannyboard records your household emergency contact numbers.

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