Keep everyone in the loop!
Do family and friends who mind your child know things like:
- You should put babies down to sleep on their back, with their feet to the foot of the cot, with their head and face free of clothes or covers - this simple practice helps to significantly reduce the risk of cot death
- A cup of tea or coffee, even with milk added, should be kept out of reach of children - it can still seriously scald a young child, even after it's been cooling for 15 minutes
- Common medicines and ordinary household products pose a grave poisoning danger to children
- A young child can drown in as little as two centimetres of water, in seconds and in silence
- Children have died after choking on whole grapes - always cut 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. Cherry tomatoes and other similar shaped fruit or vegetables should also be quartered, or cut smaller.
- You should not have curtain or blind cords in your home - children have died after becoming tangled up in them
- It is a legal requirement that children are securely strapped into a car seat that is correct for their weight and height and fitted correctly
- Young children don't know how to gauge a dog's behaviour - 60% of children between 5 and 9 years of age misread dog behaviours in situations which could lead to biting. For example, mistaking a dog wagging its tail for a friendly dog, even when it is growling, barking or showing his teeth!
- Baby walkers do not help babies learn to walk – they may in fact hold up walking ability rather than help it - and babies using baby walkers are at higher risk of head injury, falls, burns, scalds and poisonings
- Mercury thermometers are not recommended because the mercury vapour can be poisonous if the thermometer breaks. Remove any mercury thermometers from your home to prevent accidental exposure and poisoning.
A network of people - family, friends, child minders - can play a key and valuable role in children's lives. This network provides a lifeline for many parents. However, it is important to:
- take a little time to check that any place your child is taken care of is as safe as possible
- don't forget the garden shed and the garage - most children are fascinated by them. Make sure they are locked as terrible injuries can happen when children get to the tools, gardening equipment and poisons commonly found there
- share with your child's carers the steps that can be taken to help prevent childhood injuries.
- Child Safety Wall Chart - this two page guide covers topics such as poisoning, safe sleep, prevention of burns and scalds, drowning, injuries at windows, road safety, falls, pets, 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), consider hanging it up in a prominent place and give copies to all who care for your children. This will give you peace of mind that they are on the same page as you when it comes to the important area of child safety. Some very simple measures can help prevent really terrible injuries.
- Supervision advice - useful advice about effective supervision of your child.
- Child safety checklist - for use as a prompt when "child proofing" your home and any environment in which your child is cared for.
- Childproofing your home - advice on how to spot potential dangers and take action to sort them so as to make your home "child safer".
- Child safety equipment page - examples of equipment you might find useful when "child proofing" your child's environment.
- Child Safety around the Farm - helpful if your child is cared for in a farming environment - please read and share it with your child's carers.
Our webpages have more detailed advice on the key points outlined in the wall chart, and lots more information too - topics like child safety in the sun, outdoor play and toy safety are covered. Have a look at our A-Z for the full list.
Share this valuable information with all who care for your child
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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