With families across Bath and North East Somerset spending more time at home during lockdown this year’s Child Safety Week (1-7 June) is focussing on how to prevent accidents in the home.
Child Safety Week is an annual community education campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) and supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Public Health team.
With the extra pressures on the NHS and many families worried about visiting A&E, parents and carers are being encouraged to be vigilant and reflect on their family’s behaviour, routine and home environment in order to keep their children safe. The key message is #SafetyMakesSense.
There are marked social inequalities in death rates and hospital admissions of children suffering unintentional injuries, with those who live in the most disadvantaged areas more likely to be admitted to hospital.
According to Public Health England the rate of hospital admissions due to injuries in children aged 0-4 in Bath and North East Somerset during 2018/19 exceeded the national average at 138 per 10,000 compared with 123 per 10,000 across the England and 137 across the South West.*
90% of accidents involving under-fives happen at home and fall into five main categories:
- threats to breathing – choking, strangulation or suffocation
- burns and scolds
Doctors are concerned that children stuck at home during lockdown may be at higher risk from an abundance of potentially poisonous products, from sanitiser to surface spray and paracetamol.
With more meals being cooked at home, there is also an increased risk of accidents involving hot pans and hot drinks.
The majority of these accidents are preventable, and parents and carers can make a big difference by being vigilant about risks and keeping potential dangers like hair straighteners, medication and button batteries out of harm’s way.
Councillor Kevin Guy, cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “Families are under enormous pressure at the moment. Some are self-isolating, others are juggling home working with home schooling. It’s difficult keeping little ones entertained and it’s also easy to become distracted. This Child Safety Week I’d urge parents and carers to scour their homes, take time to think about potential hazards and take steps to avoid accidents. Safety Makes Sense and can help to ensure we protect our loved ones.”
The Public Health team already works with partners to reduce injury in children and young people through the Injury Prevention Partnership, but during National Child Safety Week the team has enlisted the help of local groups and centres to encourage families and carers to consider the most common causes of injury and think about the simple things they can do to minimise the risks to children and young people.
You can download the Safety Makes Sense parents pack by visiting: https://www.capt.org.uk/csw-parents
For more safety tips visit: www.facebook.com/ChildAccidentPreventionTrust
You can also search for top tips under #SafetyMakesSense #childsafetyweek