Top tips for preventing accidents around the house
To help parents get to grips with making their homes safe for their children, the Child Accident Prevention Trust offers the following top ten tips:
- A cup of tea can still scald a young child up to 15 minutes after it has been made. Keep your hot drink out of reach and never pass them over children’s heads.
- Some 3-4 year olds can open child-resistant caps in seconds. Fit child resistant catches or locks to cupboards with medicines or cleaning products or keep them out of reach.
- Even something as small as a grape can cause a young child to choke, cut toddlers’ food into small pieces.
- Because a young child’s skin is much thinner than an adult’s, it can take just five seconds for a toddler to be badly burnt by hot bath water. Put the cold in first and top up with hot then check the temperature with your elbow before they get in.
- Keep your DIY tools out of reach and sight, ideally locked away in a cupboard or shed. Always make sure chemicals are kept in their original containers. Never be tempted to transfer them to a food jar or drinks bottle.
- Thick, black smoke from a fire can fill your home in minutes. Fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it regularly to double your chances of getting your family out alive if a fire breaks out at night.
- Babies and toddlers drown silently and in as little as 5cm (2 inches) of water. Bath seats aren’t safety products – babies can wriggle out of them. So don’t leave young children or babies alone in the bath, even for a moment to pop out for a towel.
- Falls are the most common cause of accidental injury for children. Fit safety gates to stop young children climbing the stairs or falling down them.
- Young children love to climb up things to see out of windows. Fit window locks to stop them opening too wide, but make sure family members know where the keys are in case there’s a fire.
- At least one child a year dies after getting caught in a blind cord and being strangled. You can fit a cleat hook or keep the loops of blind cords tucked well away from children. Also, move children’s cots, beds and highchairs well away from window blinds.