At Bright Horizons, Keeping Everyone Safe
is our number one priority and this month, we celebrated Child Safety Week – a themed week in June to raise awareness of the accidents and hazards that can injure children, and how to prevent them.
This year, the theme is Teatime Terrors, looking at the hazards not only around the dinner table itself but also at that busy time of the day.
To help you and your family stay safe during mealtimes, our expert Keeping Everyone Safe team and Candy Floss, our Health and Safety Superhero, have put together our top 10 ‘Teatime Terrors’!
Choking happens silently. It’s very important to face your children at the dinner table so that at the first sign of trouble you are aware and can take action. St John Ambulance offer tutorials and guides on their website which demonstrate what to do if your baby or child is choking. It’s best to learn this now so if the time comes when you need to act, you will know what to do.
2.Burns and Scalds
The kitchen can get quite manic with dinner on the go and hungry children. Remember to turn saucepans so the handle isn’t accessible, ensure cabling for items such as the kettle is nicely tucked out of the way and keep hot drinks out of reach. Try and keep little ones strapped in their highchair during busy cooking times too.
Have you buckled your child in securely? Toddlers rapidly become escape artists - once they are able to push themselves into standing, a little wobble can result in a big fall. Make sure their highchair keeps them safe or choose an alternative such as a cot with high sides, or a safety gated play space to keep them out of harm’s way while you’re cooking.
We’re not referring to bad cooking here, this is thinking about your cleaning chemicals and how they are stored. Always remember to put cleaning chemicals away in the cupboard and not leave them out in easy to find spaces. Brightly coloured bottles of liquid or tabs can look like sweets and are often enticing to children, so remember to install child safety locks on cupboards. Bitrex is a great product that’s odourless, colourless but most importantly – harmless. It’s the most powerfully bitter substance in the world - adding one drop to your cleaning products is enough to ensure that if a child were to get hold if it, they would spit it out straight away.
Doors are the common culprit for trapping fingers, but did you know drawers can be just as dangerous? It’s worth installing latches to low down drawers to prevent opening and closing, where little fingers could get caught.
6.Cutlery and dangerous items
Speaking of dangerous drawers, it’s important to consider where you keep cutlery and sharp items. Are they accessible to children? When you go to grandma and grandpa’s house or to visit friends, ask them to make sure anything sharp or dangerous is out of reach.
This could be due to dropped food, spilt drinks, splashes from draining pasta, puddles from washing up or blowing bubbles in the kitchen. Be sure to clean these up immediately!
8.Leaving items on the counter
In the middle of cooking it’s easier to leave items out as you move around the room, but remember to push them away from the edge of the worktop where they could be grabbed. Tea towels in particular are grabbed by little ones who want to dry their hands, wipe something up or just because it’s soft and colourful – but what is on top of the tea towel? A knife? Something heavy?
Children can drown in 1 inch of water in as little as a few seconds. In the time it takes for you to leave the bathroom and get a towel, your child could be fully submerged in the water and unconcious. Bath seats aren’t safety products, so always supervise your child in the bath.
In a hurry to get home from nursery, school, the supermarket, karate class? Wherever you’re coming from or going to, don’t let haste replace safety. Around 5,000 children a year die on Britain’s roads. Road safety group “Brake” offer some great resources and guidance on road safety for children.
For more safety tips, guidance and resources to help prevent accidents to your little ones, visit the CAPT website at www.capt.org.uk/