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Family life under the microscope for this year's Child Safety Week

View profile for Deborah Foundling
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Keeping your family safe in today’s modern world is the theme this year for Child Safety Week; an annual campaign organised by the Child Accident Prevention Trust to raise awareness of how we can keep our children safe.  Deborah Foundling, Associate Solicitor in our Personal Injury team, explains the theme and highlights some key safety tips from the charity. 

What is Child Safety Week?

Child Safety Week, which runs this year from 3rd to the 9th June, works towards helping families understand the real risks to their children and raises awareness of the simple ways in which accidents can be avoided.  “We are proud to support Child Safety Week every year and feel that this year’s theme is an important one,” begins Deborah.  “Accidents involving children account for three child deaths every week and over 2,000 hospital admissions; what is even more heart breaking is that many of these could have been avoided.  Keeping families safe in today’s modern world is vital; technology has developed so much in recent years and while this can help make our lives more convenient, it can increase risks for the family.”

Safety at home

Hazards are all around us in our daily lives and simply being aware of them can help keep our loved ones safe.  Child Safety Week reminds us of those hazards and recommends changes we can make:

  • Burns and scalds - did you know that a baby’s skin is 15 times thinner than an adult’s?  Or that a hot drink can still burn a child’s skin 15 minutes after it has been made?  Children haven’t developed the reflexes to pull away if something is burning them, so keeping things out of reach that can burn them is crucial.  Be aware of hair straighteners, cooking equipment, the temperature of their bath water and fires or heaters around your home.
  • Choking hazards – how do you store your nappy sacks and small toys when they are not in use?  How small do you cut your grapes for your child?  Are your blind cords within easy reach?  Unfortunately, at least two young children die from strangulation each year after getting caught in a blind cord, so taking a few more seconds to stow them safely away could prevent a tragedy.
  • Poisoning – washing machine and dishwasher capsules are incredibly efficient at removing dirt and stains, but they can also look enticing to a young child. There are regular advertisements now to keep your laundry and cleaning products out of reach of children, but also consider other potential poisons such as the liquid for your e-cigarettes, air fresheners and painkillers.
  • Falling – every child will have the odd bump as they learn to explore the space around them, but there are measures you can take to protect them from larger falls such as from the stairs, windows and cots. 
  • Fire safety – checking your smoke alarm regularly is probably one of the most important checks you can make in your home and can make all the difference in the event of a fire.  To prevent a fire from happening, keep matches and lighters out of reach and sight of children, turn off your appliances such as hair straighteners, don’t overload electrical sockets and always talk to your family about the steps they should take to escape if a fire breaks out. 

Safety on the roads

Children can face danger on our roads as pedestrians, cyclists and passengers.  They have more difficulty judging speed and distance until they are at least 8 years old.  As they grow older and more independent, the risk of injury increases. Parents should consider their own speed and avoid distractions when driving, as well as ensuring they have the correct car or booster seat fitted for their young children. 

Deborah concludes,  “Unfortunately, we see the consequences of these types of accidents and while many of the measures that Child Accident Prevention Trust suggest may seem like common sense at first glance, we all lead busy lives and have many more distractions now. Taking some time to consider our actions and having plans in place can make all the difference at home and on the roads in keeping our families safe from harm.”

If you are interested in finding out more about Child Safety Week, you can visit their website here or follow them on social media using the hashtag #childsafetyweek. Alternatively, to speak to Deborah or a member of the Personal Injury team, you can contact them today on 0800 91 92 30 or email injuryteam@warnergoodman.co.uk.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice. All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.