Promoting child safety and preventing unintentional injuries (accidents)
Children are naturally curious. They explore the world around them. But everywhere, particularly in the comfort of their own home, there are dangers - both obvious and hidden. This site aims to support parents and all who care for children by highlighting many of these dangers and giving valuable tips on how to help keep children safe in and around their home.
Sleep positioners and other similar products, including pillows:
The HSE Child Safety Programme and the National Paediatric Mortality Register advise parents and anyone else who looks after your baby:
- not to use sleep positioners and other similar products as they do not prevent cot death and are a suffocation risk.
- keep your baby's cot free of soft objects and anything loose or fluffy (cot bumpers, duvets, toys, positioners, pillows, wedges, bedding rolls, etc) that could suffocate or smother your child.
- visit our Safe Sleep for your Baby page where we have outlined key actions that will help keep your baby safe while asleep.
- note that US and UK retailers have withdrawn baby sleep positioners from sale due to the products being linked to infant deaths in the US. Have a look at the FDA's short video about sleep positioners (this link will bring you to YouTube). More information is available from The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents - www.rospa.com - or the US Food and Drug Administration - www.fda.gov.
Visit our Hot Topics section for further items of interest.
*The words we use in the Child Safety Awareness Programme:
- "Accident" implies an unpredictable and, therefore, unavoidable event.
- However, we know that most childhood injuries, and the events leading to them, are predictable and preventable.
- This is why the Child Safety Awareness Programme favours the use of the term "unintentional injury".
About this site:
This child safety website has been developed by the Department of Public Health - Midlands to support the Child Safety Programme (CSP).
More detailed information and further topics will be added over time.The information points on these webpages are neither complete or exhaustive - they are intended as prompts to raise consciousness of child safety. If you have a concern that is not covered here, please contact the public health nurse at your local health centre.
Information changes over time - in line with emerging issues and guidance and also in response to queries from health professionals and parents/guardians and others who care for children.
When using information or resources contained here, please acknowledge the source.
Through this website you are able to link to sites outside of the HSE. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites.
Most unintentional injuries (often called accidents) can be prevented:
Remember the key message where child safety is concerned -
Watch your child at all times, as children do not understand danger
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The following images, unless otherwise stated, are from www.dreamstime.com - Let's play © Kirill Linnick; Building blocks (adapted)by Wee Sen Goh under Flickr Creative Commons Licence; Irish Water Safety Week image from www.iws.ie ; 3D man crawling © Martin Konz; In the loop informed knowledge sharing information © Iqoncept; Exclamation Mark © Pkruger; Pedestrian crossing road sign © Sergey Salivon; Curious Cartoon Dog © Jsatt83; Pool Reflection © Arindam Banerjee; Sun © Antonio Mirabile; Crayons © sarmum