Child Safety Hot Topics

Child Safety Hot Topics - a few news items, alerts & safety messages


 

  • "Product recalls" by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.  These products can include equipment, toys and items intended for use by children.

NSAI Announces the 12 Days of Christmas Safety - the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) has issued some last-minute safety advice for people ahead of the Christmas season:

  • Daily reminders issued for homeowners, shoppers, children and Santa to check for safety standards during the festive season
  • By law, the CE Mark must be present on all children’s toys, fairy lights and other electronics
  • Always buy products from trustworthy shops and legitimate online stores
  • Check all your Christmas lights for signs of wear-and-tear and replace them if necessary

 Find out more at www.nsai.ie 

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Make sure toys are safeToy safety this Christmas - Give Santa a hand by checking that the toys he brings are suitable to your child's age and developmental stage, have the CE safety mark on them and are in good condition.  

Visit our Child Safety and Toys and Child Safety at Christmas pages for more information.


Alcohol a factor in 2 in 5 fatal crashes in the lead up to Christmas - the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have launched their annual Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign with Ms. Liz O Donnell, RSA Chairperson, reminding us that “Any amount of alcohol impairs driving. In fact, just one drink can affect your driving. That is not a theory this is scientific fact. So, if you are heading to an office party or socialising over the Christmas and New Year period, make sure you plan how you are going to get home safely. Leave the keys at home and book a taxi, hackney, use public transport or designate a driver. Do not leave it to chance because once you have that first drink, you will not be able to make the right choices. This advice also applies if you are intending to walk home after socialising too. Crash data shows that alcohol could be a factor in almost half [46%] of pedestrian deaths. Too many people have lost their lives in the past by walking home drunk on roads with poor visibility. Please don’t take the chance.”


Don't fit window blinds with cords attachedIt takes only seconds for a toddler to lose their life on a window blind or curtain cord: Blind and curtain cords are a serious strangulation risk to children.  Do not fit blinds and curtains with cords attached.  If you do have them, and cannot replace them, take steps now to make them safer - visit our child safety around windows page to find out more and to view two video clips which starkly highlight the dangers associated with blind and curtain cords. 


Look out - Stand out !Be safe - be seen:  Now that the clocks have gone back our evenings are darker earlier.  Please make sure you and your children can be seen while  the road. 

Please read our safety tips for lots of useful information.  


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: 

Put babies on their backs to sleep.

  • 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.
  • Please 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
  • Pillows and cushions of any kind are not necessary - they should not be used as they are a suffocation risk.

Fire Safety Week 2017This year's National Fire Safety Week took place from the 2nd - 9th October.  Its theme was “STOP Fire - Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives” - Fit smoke alarms today and make sure they are in good working order.

Working smoke alarms will warn you if there is a fire. Remember:Your sense of smell does not work when you are asleep and smoke can put you in a deeper sleep.  Find out more at www.firesafetyweek.ie.


Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2017Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week ~ 25th September - October 1st 2017:  Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week highlighted the dangers of carbon monoxide and provided information about how to prevent exposure to it.  Carbon monoxide (CO) can be lethal, but there’s a lot you can do to safeguard against it. Remember:

  • Carbon monoxide can be released by any fuel that burns, including coal, turf, oil, gas and wood
  • Get fuel-burning appliances serviced and chimneys swept every year
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home

Ensure your family and friends are aware of the dangers of CO poisoning and how to prevent it - encourage them to visit www.carbonmonoxide.ie for more information.

To raise awareness for this week the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) issued a four-step safety checklist, which people should consult when buying a CO detector and also warned homeowners to take preventative action to avoid the creation of conditions where carbon monoxide can form in high levels.  Find out more at www.nsai.ie.


npic keyringPoisons Awareness:  Listen to Niamh speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke - her one and half year old son, Rory, took a liquitab from the back of a loaded washing machine and bit into it.  Niamh tells about the events leading up to the incident and about ringing the National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC) for advice afterwards.  

Patricia Casey from the NPIC urges people who think their child has been poisoned to call (01) 809 2166 (7 days a week, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.).  Your call will be answered by a Specialist in the Poisons Information Centre who will advise you if medical attention is needed.  Outside of these hours, contact your GP or hospital for advice.

Please save that number into your phone contacts now and check out the National Poisons Information Centre of Ireland website - www.poisons.ie -  for lots of poison prevention tips. 


The choking hazard of grapes - a plea for awareness:  The size and shape of grapes means that they can completely plug children’s airways with the tight seal produced by fruit’s smooth, flexible surface making them difficult to move with first aid manoeuvres.  

Children can choke on food at any age, but those under five are at higher risk – and especially children under three.  Therefore, the HSE Child Safety Programme recommends:

  • Always cutting grapes into half lengthways and then cut into quarters.  This is very important as the fruit could otherwise totally block a child's airway in a choking incident.
  • Cutting fruits such as cherry tomatoes into quarters, or smaller
  • Supervising children during meal and snack times - develop the routine that your child sits at the table accompanied by a parent/guardian. This will present opportunities for talk time with your child.
  • Making sure children sit whilst eating - children should not run around and play while eating.

Click here for lots more information about high risk choking foods and how to help prevent choking incidents from these foods.


Back to School Safety

It's that time of year again!  School uniforms have been tried for size, schoolbags are packed and school doors have opened for the new school year.  The HSE Child Safety Programme urges all parents to put child safety on their "back to school" checklist.  A quick read of our Child safety and school page will provide useful advice about travelling to school safely, school bag & clothes safety, safe sport, etc. 

Best wishes to all children and parents for a safe and happy school year.


Back to School road safety campaign: The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and ESB Networks are calling on parents, guardians and teachers to ensure road safety, in particular cycle safety is on the lesson plan for all children as they return to school in September, and will be distributing free high visibility vests to all children starting school this year.  As well as the ‘safe cycling’ message, the RSA is reminding parents to ensure their child is visible when walking or cycling on the roads, or when waiting for the school bus. Speaking at the launch of this year’s back-to-school campaign, Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA said: “With children returning to school over the coming week, road users need to be vigilant. In addition to the inevitable increased traffic levels, motorists and other road users should be conscious of children walking and cycling to and from school. Drivers need to pay attention to their speed, particularly in urban areas. Children are the most vulnerable of our road-users so it is really important that parents and teachers ensure that they learn how to stay safe on the roads.”   For more information, please visit www.rsa.ie 


trainTravelling by train?  Although rail transport in Ireland is a safe way to travel, the number of slips, trips and falls at Irish train stations has risen according to Iarnrod Eireann's Safety Report 2016.  Similar trends elsewhere "have been linked to changes in passenger behaviour, including the increased use of smartphones in inappropriate situations".  

When travelling by train be mindful of what is going on around you.  Train stations are busy places and any distraction can lead to trips and falls.  If travelling with children, remember to supervise them closely and make sure they stay close to you at all times.  Always hold your child's hand while on the platform and when getting on and off trains.  Lead by example by acting safely yourself.

For more safety information, read our Child safety near trains and railway tracks page.


Child Safety Equipment: There are many types of equipment available to buy that can help to protect your child from injury. You must make sure any equipment used:

stairgate

  • meets current safety standards
  • is in perfect condition
  • is assembled, installed and used correctly – as per manufacturers instructions

In Ireland, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) sometimes needs to recall non-food products for safety reasons. These products can include child safety equipment.  Recalls can be found at www.ccpc.ie.  An sample of some recent child equipment related recalls are:

    • Mothercare Loved So Much Baby Bouncer recalled (batch date of 12/2015 onwards and with a barcode ending in 843611-3) - STOP using this product immediately.  Find out more at www.ccpc.ie 
    • Lidl Lupilu pacifer strap recalled - STOP using this product immediately.  Find out more at www.ccpc.ie.
    • Mamas and Papas Infant Carriers recalled by Argos - The Mercury Group 0+ (0-13kg/newborn-approx 12 months), catalogue numbers 316/9539 and 382/0971. Find out more at www.ccpc.ie
    • Tesco recall Amscan Iipstick and lollipop - CCPC have advised that Amscan International Ltd, has asked Tesco to issue a recall on their behalf for two toy pen products. This is due to a safety issue with the pens’ lid. Essentially, the lids were not manufactured in accordance with the relevant standard and therefore present an asphyxiation hazard if swallowed accidentally.  For more information, visit www.consumerhelp.ie.  

But remember, this is just a sample, the most up-to-date recall information is always found on www.ccpc.ie

Always remember supervision of your children is key to their safety.  


Farm Safety Week 2017Farm safety is a lifestyle, not a slogan:  Farm Safety Week took place this year from 24th – 28th July 2017.  The campaign focussed on a different risk each day. Farmers were encouraged to take some time to assess the safety of routine tasks.  For more information visit www.ifa.ie

Remember, you can take a look at our child safety around the farm section for lots of useful information.


Water SafetyA message from Irish Water Safety:  "Last summer, Lifeguards reunited 663 lost children with their guardians. When you are near water, please look after the children in your care. Supervise them closely, constantly and without interruption, including at life-guarded waterways where you should always swim between the flags. Know What You're Getting Into at www.watersafety.ie"

Irish Water Safety advise – "Don’t let water destroy summer.  Talk to you children about water safety. Follow these simple tips and you'll enjoy every minute together on our beautiful beaches, rivers and lakes.

  1. Always wear a lifejacket when on or near the water
  2. Swim within your depth, parallel to shore
  3. Swim at lifeguarded waterways, listed on www.iws.ie
  4. Children love water so constant and uninterrupted supervision is essential
  5. Almost 30% of drowned victims had consumed alcohol, don’t mix it with water activities"

For lots more information and tips visit our child safety around water page.


"Buying a fidget-spinner?  Make sure it is safe first"- this is the advice of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).  Fidget spinners are plastic or metal devices that fit in the palm of your hand and have a ball bearing that allows them to spin.  But the CCPC has found the following issues with some fidget spinners:

  • Having no CE markfidget spinner
  • Having non-compliant CE marks
  • Not having the required small parts warning
  • No information provided about the manufacturer
  • Containing parts that easily detach and pose a serious choking hazard.

If you are thinking about buying a fidget spinner the CCPC has this advice:

  • Look for a CE mark but don’t rely on it solely, as the mark may be a fake. The CE marking should be visible and easily legible.
  • Check the box and packaging for markings or traceable information such as the name and contact details of the manufacturer and/or importer. If this information is missing, do not buy the fidget spinner.
  • Check if the fidget spinner has any detachable small parts that could lodge in the ears, nose or throat, and cause an injury to a child."

Remember, before giving any toy or device to your child, make sure that it is appropriate for your child's age and developmental stage, is in good condition and complies with relevant safety standards.  For more information read our Child Safety and Toys page.


Make the most of sunny days with your children, but make sure to stay safe in the sun and around water.

  • Not only is sunburn painful, it also increases the risk of skin cancer in later life - for advice see our child safety in the sun page.  
  • Children can drown in seconds and in total silence in a very small amount of water.  Closely supervise your child when near, with or in water - you should always be within arm's reach.  For advice see our child safety around water page.

Check it FitsCheck it Fits - The Road Safety Authority introduced ‘Check it Fits’ in response to a frightening statistic that shows that as many as 4 out of 5 child car seats are 

incorrectly fitted. Incorrect fitting can result in serious injury or a fatality in the event of a collision.  The RSA ‘Check it Fits’ service is open to all makes and models of cars and child car seats.  For more information and for details about how to access the service, visit www.rsa.ie and remember the service is quick, easy and free.


grandad and grandchildCalling all grandparents! Be child safety aware as you enjoy precious time spent with your grandchildren. For injury prevention tips and advice, please read our Child Safety for Grandparents page and then take a little time to check that your home is as safe as possible before your grandchildren visit.


csap wallchartRevised Child Safety Awareness Wall Chart:  We have updated our popular Child Safety Wallchart.  This useful 2-page guide outlines key actions to take to help keep your child safe from unintentional injury.  It covers topics such as prevention of burns and scalds, injuries at windows, falls, poisoning, drowning & choking and suffocation.  It also has some basic first aid advice and space for you to note down important contact numbers.  So please print it out, have a read (it won't take long), hang it up in a prominent place and give a copy to anyone who looks after your child. 


Make your window blinds safer.Window blind and curtain safety:  Although our homes should be places where our children are safe and protected, many still contain serious risks in the form of the cords and chains of window blinds and curtains. It takes only seconds for a toddler to lose their life on a window blind cord as this video shows (Warning: some viewers may find this video disturbing - viewer discretion is advised).  
Visit our Child safety dangers at windows and balconies page for life-saving safety advice.


Put babies on their backs to sleep.Did you know that your baby should not wear a hat when being put down to sleep?  This is because babies lose heat through their head so covering their head may cause your baby to become overheated.  We all want our babies to be cosy and comfortable as they sleep.  But overheating can increase the risk of cot death.  A baby can overheat when asleep because of too much bedding or clothes or because the room is too hot.  For more information see the "don't let baby get too hot" advice in our Safe Sleep for your Baby section.  

And remember - always place your baby on their back to sleep, with their feet to the foot of their cot and their face and head free of clothes and covers.


Water SafetyA message from Irish Water Safety (IWS) - "As the stretch in the evenings stretches your legs, Keep your waterside walks away from the edge. Together - let's bring drownings down."  Keep safe near the water. 


co2 awareness Carbon Monoxide - please be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Any fuel burning appliance (oil, gas, wood, coal, turf, charcoal, diesel etc) can produce carbon monoxide. So visit our carbon monoxide page to find out how to protect your family. 


Fire safety - Closing interior doors when going to bed at night is vital to saving lives if you have a fire.... this video demonstrates it perfectly.


CE MarkLook for the CE mark when shopping this Christmas - The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) warns consumers to always look for the CE Mark (as pictured here) when buying toys and electrical products.  NSAI spokesperson Pat Bracken explains why the symbol is so important: "The CE mark (as shown here) is the manufacturer's declaration that the product meets the health and safety and environmental standards applicable to that product.  So when it is used as is intended, it is a safe product.  By law all toys and electrical products placed on the market actually have to have the CE mark on the product".  The warning comes as a new survey reveals almost half of people do not recognise a genuine CE mark. The online study of 984 people, conducted by NSAI, found that 49% did not recognise the real CE mark when placed side-by-side with a fake one, while 10% of respondents said that they never look for the CE mark when purchasing toys or electrical products. Check out www.nsai.ie for more information about recognising the genuine CE mark, lots of useful tips to help choose safe toys and gifts and to view their how to shop safely video clip.


npic keyringPoison Awareness Day - The National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC) hosted a Poisons Awareness Day on December 8th to raise awareness about the importance of poison prevention and to remind parents and guardians to keep all poisons out of reach and out of sight of children.  The NPIC is encouraging creches and child-minding facilities across the country to host their own Poisons Awareness Day - poison prevention leaflets and key-fobs for parents, guardians and early year providers are available to order free-of-charge from healthpromotion.ie.  Please take this opportunity to save the NPIC phone number in your phone in case of a poisoning emergency: 01 809 2166.  
Visit our webpages for lots of useful poisoning prevention information. 


Crashed lives is a road safety campaign featuring true life case studies in which people speak about the consequences of a crash or about the loss of loved ones in road collisions and how it has changed their lives forever - and robbed everyone of their dreams.

“Thursday 17 April 2014 was the day our lives were shattered because of drink-driving. As a mother, your instinct is to protect your children from any harm that might come their way but I wasn’t able to do this for Ciarán. Because someone decided to drink and drive that day, and his actions led to the death of my little boy. Our lives will never be the same again. I beg anyone who would think of drinking and driving to think of my little boy, and to think of the devastated family and community still mourning his loss.”  These are the words of Gillian Treacy, mother of four year old Ciarán who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in April 2014.  This video from the RSA also tells of the profound impact Ciarán’s death had on everyone who attended the scene and attempted to save his life.

Drink drivers destroy lives, families and communities
Never, ever drink and drive


Child safety around the farm.  While farms are wonderful places to grow up around, there are many dangers - both seen and unseen.  Take action now to help keep your child safe:

Child Safety on the Farm

  • Lead by example – think "safety" and act safely on the farm.
  • Teach your child about safety on the farm - however, never expect your child to think like an adult. Children do not understand danger so always make sure your child is accompanied on the farm.
  • Supervision is key - never leave your child unattended on the farm.   Farmyards should be a ‘no go’ area for children unless they are safely accompanied by an adult. 
  • Fenced off play area - make a fenced off child is  safe play area for your child away from the working farm.  
  • Remember this advice is also very important if children are visiting a farm.  
  • Watch Once upon a Farm - a child safety drama communicating the importance of farm and countryside safety to primary level students. 
  • What's Left Behind - A Farm Safety Appeal - Christmas will never be the same again. In this powerful video, the Higgins family and their friends recount the devastating loss of James, the most adorable, beautiful little child that you could imagine.  His dad, Pádraig, urges us to be vigilant at all times and to remember that a farmyard is not a playground.
  • See our child safety around the farm section for more information
  • Remember the key message where child safety is concerned - watch your child at all times as children do not understand danger.

Emergency - 112 or 999Do you know your Eircode?  The National Emergency Operations Centre within the National Ambulance Service uses Eircodes to send out ambulances.  Make a note of your Eircode and put it somewhere visible in case it is needed in an emergency situation.  Information about Eircodes can be found at www.eircode.ie.

Can you give good directions to your home?  Make a list of easy to follow directions to your location and put them in a visible place.  Remember, in an emergency it can be difficult to think clearly - so take the thinking out of it by preparing your directions in advance.  

Remember - time is precious in an emergency situation.


Child Proof your HomeChild proofing your home - Have your crawled around your home on your hands and knees lately?!  Give it a try if you want to check things out from your child's viewpoint - you will see, very plainly at times, how inviting many dangerous items and areas look.  Once you spot these dangers, you can take action to fix them.  Find out more here.  


Under the WeatherFeeling under the weather?

Undertheweather.ie, developed by the HSE in partnership with GPs and pharmacists, offers straightforward advice on how to get through common illnesses without antibiotics.


Keep detergents out of sight and reach of childrenPotential risks posed to children by liquid detergent capsules and room fresheners - The National Poisons Information Centre has issued a warning about the potential risks posed to children by liquid detergent capsules and room fresheners.  Watch the RTE news report here.  Find out more about poison prevention by reading our webpages.  Remember, if you think your child has been poisoned - do not delay - ring the Poisons Information Centre at (01) 809 2166 8 a.m.-10 p.m. every day.  Your call will be answered by a Specialist in Poisons Information who will tell you if medical attention is needed.  Outside these hours, contact your GP or hospital.


Teething BabyDangers of amber teething beads - amber beads are often sold as so-called baby “teething” aids in the form of jewellery. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred as a direct result of using these items.  The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission warn:

  • Never use amber teething jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets and anklets as relief for babies who are teething.
  • Amber teething jewellery products are unsafe for babies, and pose several serious risks:
    • Amber teething necklaces, bracelets and anklets pose a potential choking/inhalation hazard to any child under three years of age.
    • The jewellery normally contains many small amber beads which can come loose from the string and be swallowed or inhaled, which could cause choking.
    • Even if the parts do not break off, amber necklaces, bracelets and anklets are small enough to be swallowed whole by a small child or baby.
    • The amber beads used in this type of jewellery can very easily shatter into smaller parts which can lead to chocking.
    • You should never put any kind of cord, string or chain jewellery around a baby’s neck.
  • Suppliers and retailers are warned that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission considers these products inherently unsafe and will take appropriate action to remove these products from sale.

For more information, read our Child Safety - Amber Teething Necklaces, Bracelets and Anklets page.


Unlicensed homeopathic teething tablets or gels:  Due to the risk of side effects, parents or carers of infants and young children should not use unlicensed homeopathic teething tablets or gels which may be available to buy online.  This advice follows notice of an ongoing U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation into a range of these products which concluded that they may cause serious side effects.  Find out more at www.hpra.ie


Keep hot drinks out of reach of childrenPrevent scald injuries:  As the weather turns cooler, there is nothing quite like a hot drink or bowl of soup to warm us up.  But, did you know that tea or coffee, even with milk in it, is still hot enough after 15 minutes to seriously scald a young child?

Take action now, always keep hot drinks out of reach of young children and never make, or drink, a hot drink or soup whilst holding a young child. Find out more about scalds and burns here.


School Bus SafetySchool bus safety - Belt-up!  Teach your children that it is important to always wear their seatbelt whilst on the bus.  Go to www.buseireann.ie and watch the video clip with your children and check out the other School Transport Safety Resources - safety tips sheet; belt up safely poster; seat belt safety certificate.  

Have a look at our Road Safety section for lots more information to help keep your children safe whilst on or near the road.


Furniture tip-over injuries and deaths - Children have suffered serious injuries and some have died after being crushed by free-standing furniture (bookcases, shelving units, drawers, televisions, etc) which topples onto them.  Take action now - secure all such items to the floor or to the wall.  Where this is not possible, remove the item altogether.


Make your window blinds safer.Global Awareness-raising Campaign on Window Covering Cord Safety - your home should be a place where your children are safe and protected, but there is a hidden danger in many Irish homes.  The cords and chains of window blinds and curtains can pose a serious risk. Young children, particularly under the age of three, can strangle in the loop of cords and chains from window blinds and curtains. In Ireland,  small children have died from strangulation caused by loose cords and chains from window blinds.  Visit www.consumerhelp.ie for advice to help prevent such tragedies.  


PChild Safety and Health around Petsets are a valuable part of many family settings, providing companionship and entertainment.  

To make sure your children's contact with pets is safe and healthy, read our updated Child Safety and Health around Pets booklet or visit our Child Safety and Health around Pets webpages.


The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has produced a series of videos about child safety in and around parked and moving vehicles, both in driveways and out on housing estate roads – areas where traditionally children play.  The videos can be viewed on the RSA's YouTube channel.

To find out more about about child safety on or near roads, please visit our road safety section.


Child safety in cars; a guide to driving safely with children on board - has been published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).  By followng the advice in this book, you will help to protect your child's life and safety while travelling in a car.  The booklet may be downloaded from www.rsa.ie.


No smokingSmoking in cars and other vehicles - From the 1st of January 2016 it is an offence for anyone to smoke a tobacco product in a vehicle where a child (anyone under the age of 18 years) is present.

The offence will be enforced by the Gardaí and carries a fixed penalty of €100. Find out more here.


Hoverboards pose serious safety risk - The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission urges consumers to be on their guard when purchasing hoverboards. Retailers have already recalled certain brands. Consumers should only buy items which can be verified as safe.  For advice go to www.consumerhelp.ie.

Click here for all products recalled by the Commission.


Keep detergents out of sight and reach of childrenFrom 1st January 2016, laundry capsules must be coated in a "bittering agent" so that children will spit them out quickly. Packaging is also to be strenghtened and display safety warnings. All this follows concern over the number of poisonings among young children who have mistaken laundry capsules for toys or sweets.

The advice of the HSE Child Safety Awareness Programme is to make sure that all such products are handled only by adults and are kept out of sight and reach of young children - they can cause poisonings and skin and eye damage. We have more information here.


The Chokeables - St John AmbulaceChoking - First Aid advice for parents
Find out how to save a choking baby - watch the The Chokeables from St John Ambulance - pen lid, marble, princess and jelly baby have had enough of being a hazard and they are here to show you the correct technique to save a choking baby.
Have a look at some other videos from St John Ambulance - Baby Choking First Aid for Parents and Choking Adults and Children - First Aid advice

Check out our choking section for further information.


Caring for your BabyCheck out the HSE's new Caring for your Baby website.

The website aims to give parents common-sense information and tips on the general care of their child, their child's growth and development, what to do if their child has a problem and who to get in touch with for more help and support.


Your mobile - would it kill you to put it away? A new ad from the Road Safety Authority shows the devastating effect that one split second spent texting while driving can have.

Drivers are 4 times more likely to crash while on the phone. Texting while driving makes you up to 23 times more likely to crash.View the video here.


EEvery breastfeed makes a differencevery breastfeed makes a difference - visit www.breastfeeding.ie to find out more.


Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes

  • These products contain nicotine which is highly toxic/poisonous when swallowed or inhaled by children.
  • The National Poisons Information Centre reminds us that children will copy the actions of adults, so we should not leave electronic cigarettes in the reach or sight of children.
  • If your child swallows some of the liquid in an electronic cigarette you must take them to the emergency department.
  • If you decide to stop smoking, remember that some of the stop smoking products such as gum, sprays, pastilles and patches contain nicotine and can cause harm to children. Always keep these products out of sight and reach of children.

 Mobile Phones and Driving

  • It is illegal to hold a mobile phone in your hand or support it with another part of your body when you're driving.
  • Using your mobile phone while driving makes you four times more likely to crash.
  • When you consider that driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions, phone use and driving is an issue that we all need to think differently about.
  • Find out more at www.rsa.ie

 "When you’re behind the wheel of a car, your only focus should be your driving". A road safety conference highlights the dangers of driver distraction.


The Early Years Research Programme - Cardiff University has published research which shows that hot drinks are responsible for most scald injuries in infants and toddlers, whilst the most common cause of burn injuries are from children touching irons, hair straighteners and oven hobs. Two Irish hospitals were among the five included in the study. Click here to find out how to reduce the risk of scald & burn injuries.


Remember, car seats should be used for every journey, however, they are designed to keep babies safe while travelling, they are not to be used as a main sleeping place.

  • If travelling on long journeys take regular breaks, park in a safe place and place your baby on his back for a short while.
  • Once you have reached your destination, do not leave babies in sitting devices such as car seats, buggies etc for long periods of time.
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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