This post contains very important information to prevent common child accidents. The post comes from First Aid for Life, first aid experts who provide adivce and training. On their website you can find lots of useful free resources too.
Every year, around 2 million children attend A&E due to accidents. Over 76,000 of these require admission to hospital – that is nearly 1500 children a week!
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 due to accidents than from illnesses such as leukaemia or meningitis.
Children should never be over-protected or wrapped in cotton wool. They do need to take measured risks and the inevitable bumps and bruises are a healthy part of growing up. However, it is vitally important to have the knowledge to anticipate and prevent serious childhood injuries that can cause long-term damage and have life-changing consequences.
Children develop at different rates; they reach milestones at totally different times and some miss out stages altogether. You will know your child well, but may not anticipate at what point they will suddenly roll, become mobile or be able to reach new heights.
It is exciting to see how quickly children grow, and to revel in new developments such as grabbing things, rolling over, crawling, standing, climbing, opening bottles and turning handles. However, it’s when these new abilities take us by surprise that serious childhood accidents can result.
When my children were younger, we had regular visits from older cousins and friends’ children. This gave us some insight into the next stages for our little ones. Things of no interest to our children, or things way out of their reach, became a source of fascination for our visitors. Anticipating possible risks was incredibly useful as it meant we were always one step ahead in the battle to stay safe!
The six most common childhood accidents are:
There are simple safety precautions that all households can easily adopt to minimise the risk of children having accidents.
- Never leave a baby in a bouncy chair or car seat on a raised surface.
- Babies and children should always be strapped into highchairs, buggies and car seats.
- Always hold onto the banister when carrying your baby up and downstairs.
- Fit safety gates to your stairs before your baby starts crawling and ensure you keep stairs clear from clutter.
- Teach your baby to come down the stairs backwards.
- Fit safety locks to windows.
- Never leave chairs, large plant pots or furniture near windows, work surfaces, balconies or anywhere dangerous a baby or child could climb onto.
- Secure furniture – particularly bookcases, chest of drawers and TVs – to the wall to prevent them toppling and crushing a child if they try to climb up them.
- Bunk beds are not recommended for children under 6.
- The safest place to change your baby’s nappy is on the floor – be incredibly vigilant when using changing tables.
- Microwaves cook unevenly. Get rid of hot spots when heating bottles or food by shaking or stirring thoroughly. Test the temperature before giving food to children or feeding a baby.
- Run cold water into the bath first to stop the bottom overheating. Use a bath thermometer as well as checking the temperature yourself before bathing babies. Ideally fit a thermostat or temperature regulator to bath taps.
- Keep hot drinks out of reach, use a kettle with a short flex and keep it at the back of the work surface.
- Don’t drink hot drinks while holding a baby and never pass hot drinks over anyone’s head. A drink that has been sitting for 15 minutes can still be hot enough to burn a baby.
- Use the back rings of the cooker, turn pan handles away from the edge.
- Fit fireguards and radiator guards, turn off heated towel rails.
- Be very careful of irons, hair straighteners and other hot implements and keep them and their flexes well out of reach. Remember how long they take to cool.
For more advices continue to read here.