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Child Safety Week to focus on after school accidents

View profile for Andy Munden
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This week is Child Safety Week, an annual event organised by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) in order to educate communities across the UK about the dangers that face our children in every day life.  This year sees the focus on after school accidents; such as the hazards surrounding dinner time that can cause serious burns.  Andy Munden, Personal Injury Partner at Hampshire law firm Warner Goodman LLP, here explains why this is the emphasis this year, and the simple steps we can all take to make our children safer.

“There are two key facts that CAPT are promoting this year,” begins Andy.  “The first is that over 50% of all serious road accidents involving children occur between 3pm and 7pm, and the second is that during this time children are also more than twice as likely to suffer a serious burn.

“It’s hardly surprising that road accidents involving children increase after 3pm, as this is when they leave school, and there are naturally more cars on the road with parents collecting their children,” explains Andy.  “I’m a parent myself and understand the pressure that parents are under in the evening; collect the children and get them home, get dinner ready, make sure any homework gets done, get uniforms ready for the next day, put them to bed.  We want to get home as soon as possible to keep on schedule but we forget that doing so can potentially cost someone’s life.

“Road safety advice is the same at every time of day, whether a driver of a vehicle or a pedestrian or cyclist,” continues Andy.  “If you walk to and from school with your children, make sure you are aware of the vehicles around you, only cross the road at marked places such as a zebra crossing or traffic lights and even then still ensure all cars have stopped before crossing.  If your children cycle to school, always ensure they wear their helmets.  Whether cyclist or pedestrian ensure you are wearing bright or fluorescent clothing.  As a driver, the message is simple; make sure you’re paying attention to the road and those around you.”

Burns and scalds are also at the centre of this year’s campaign as a focus around the time spent at home after school.  “It’s around dinner time that we see a peak in the number of serious burns,” explains Andy.  “As with road accidents, it’s clear to see why.  We’re heating food and liquids and it’s mainly from hot drinks, the kettle and cooker that serious burns injure our children.  Even after dinner, being around a hot iron, hair straighteners and even the bath can be hazardous.  Making sure these items are placed far out of reach of children is the first step towards minimising the risk to our children.”

Andy concludes, “All of these measures are simple, and people reading this may think that we’re stating the obvious, but it’s clear from the statistics from CAPT that people are not considering these obvious measures in their day to day lives.  Sadly, in the five years from 2008-2012, 3,500 children were killed or seriously injured on the roads between 3pm and 7pm.  That’s 13 children every week.  This is why it’s so important that people use weeks such as Child Safety Week to educate and remind themselves of the dangers our children face every day.”

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) is the UK’s leading charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents. You can visit the Injury section of our website if you or a loved one has had an accident or sustained an injury.

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.