Top 10 Tips to Reduce Risks and keep your child safe

Child Safety Week is a great annual reminder to us all to take a fresh look at our surroundings to minimise potential hazards and ensure we are one step ahead of our child’s developmental milestones. It is exciting to see how quickly children grow, and revel in new developments such as reaching, rolling over, crawling, standing, walking, climbing, opening bottles and turning handles. However, each of these new abilities herald a new potential danger and it is vital to stay one step ahead.

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Accidental injury is one of the biggest single causes of death in the UK for children over the age of one. More children die each year as a result of accidents than from illnesses such as Leukaemia or Meningitis.

The national “Save a Life” survey involving over 2,000 people, showed that a third of parents have had to rush their child to hospital at some point.

The top causes of serious injuries and fatalities are:

  1. Choking, suffocation and strangulation
  2. Falls – from furniture, down stairs
  3. Poisoning – medicines, household chemicals, batteries
  4. Burns and scalds – hot drinks, pans, bath water
  5. Drowning

Many accidents can be avoided by identifying and understanding potential risks in the home. There are basic safety steps you can take to keep your children safe and give you peace of mind.

  • Fit fireguards and radiator guards to prevent burns, keep hot drinks and cooling appliances well out of reach. A hot drink can burn a child 15 minutes after it has been made!
  • Use soft corner covers for hard and sharp corners.
  • Use door stops to prevent doors slamming.
  • Secure furniture – particularly bookcases, chest of drawers and TVs – to the wall. They can easily topple and crush a child if they’re climbing up them.
  • Children climb on anything so be careful of pot plants, chairs and furniture by windows and on balconies.
  • Never hang anything on a child’s cot and ensure blind cords are safely out of reach.
  • Keep plastic bags (particularly nappy sacks), packaging, small items, batteries and medication well out of children’s sight and reach.
  • Don’t overload your buggy and always strap your child in.
  • Always supervise your child when eating.
  • A child can drown in as little as a couple of centimetres of water, always empty paddling pools and water play straight after use.

The same “Save a Life” survey found that a frightening 82% of parents would not know what to do if their child started choking or was burnt.

First aid is not complicated, but it does need to be taught and refreshed to ensure you really are confident to help in an emergency. Please come and join us if it is a while since you did a course.

If your child starts choking, the first thing you should do is encourage them to cough. If they can’t dislodge the obstruction themselves, give them up to 5 back blows – firm hits between their shoulder blades. Check between each to see if the obstruction has cleared. If the child is still choking after five, call an ambulance and start abdominal thrusts. Alternate between back blows and abdominal thrusts until the paramedics arrive. If they lose consciousness – start CPR.

For burns and scalds: Only remove clothing if you are sure it hasn’t stuck to the burn. Stay as calm as you can. Hold the affected area under cool running water for at least 10 minutes. Call an ambulance if the burn is bigger than the child’s hand or the skin is broken/blistered. Keep cooling the burn whilst waiting for the paramedics. All burns should be assessed and dressed by a health professional.

Basic sensible precautions to keep children safe, along with essential first aid knowledge, will allow everyone to feel more confident should an accident happen.

First Aid for Life is creating loads of new resources for Child Safety Week and will be running a special offer with our highly-acclaimed book Burns, Falls and Emergency Calls – The ultimate guide to the prevention and treatment of childhood accidents, just 99p on Wednesday the 7th June. We would love NappyValleyNetters’ help in gaining Amazon Bestseller status please. Please buy our e-book on the 7th May for just 99p and to say thank you we will send you a free print copy worth £12.99 (just write a review and email a screen shot).

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It is strongly advised that you attend a practical or online first aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit www.firstaidforlife.org.uk or www.onlinefirstaid.com for more information about our courses. First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made or actions taken based on this information.


First Aid for Life

www.firstaidforlife.org.uk

emma@firstaidforlife.org.uk

0208 675 4036

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