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Child Safety…A Very Comprehensive, Useful Action List for Parents and Carers.

Child Safety

Statistics show that every year over 1 million children in the UK under the age of 15 are involved in accidents in the home for which they require hospital treatment. Many more are treated by their GPs, parents and carers.

Accidents are the commonest cause of death in children over one year old and every year thousands suffer permanent disability or disfigurement.

The age group most at risk from a home accident are the 0-4 years.

Falls are the cause of most non-fatal accidents and fire results in the highest number of deaths.

Most accidents involving children can be prevented by increased awareness of child safety in the home, improvement of the home environment and better product safety.

So What Can I Do About Child Safety In the Home?

The Royal Society For The Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Recommend the Following Child Safety Accident Prevention Measures:-

“General Child Safety UK 

  • Children should be supervised at all times.
  • Ensure that floors are free of obstructions and toys that can be tripped over.
  • Always use a securely fitted safety harness in a pram, pushchair or highchair.
  • Never leave babies unattended on raised surfaces.
  • Do not place baby bouncers on raised surfaces – they are liable to fall off with the movement of the baby.
  • The use of baby-walkers and table-mounted high chairs is not recommended.


Around 10 children die as a result of falls each year – some have fallen from windows or balconies and the others mainly from stairs.39% of all children’s accidents involves falls.

Most falls involve tripping over on the same level. However, the most serious injuries result from falls between two levels, such as falling out of a pram, or highchair, or falling from a bed or from a great height and landing on something hard, sharp or hot.

Stairs and Windows

  • Fit a safety gate (to BS 4125)5 at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Never leave toys or clutter on the stairs.
  • Stairs should be well lit and carefully maintained – damaged or worn carpet should be repaired or removed.
  • Ensure balustrades are strong and don’t have any footholds to encourage climbing.
  • Fit child resistant window locks, but remember to make sure you can escape easily in an emergency.
  • Do not put anything under a window that can be climbed upon.


Domestic fires pose one of the greatest risks to child safety and 46% of all fatal accidents involving children are in house fires. Children playing with matches and lighters frequently start house fires.


  • Keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children.
  • Always use a fireguard and secure it to the wall.
  • In case of fire have an escape route planned, and practice it with the family.
  • Fit a smoke alarm which complies with BS 5446 and test it regularly.
  • Make sure you extinguish and dispose of cigarette ends safely.

Glass Related Accidents

The increased use of glass in the home has led to more glass related accidents. Every year children die due to an accident with architectural glass.Breaking glass tumblers and bottles also injures many children.


  • Use safety glass to BS 6206 (laminated, toughened, or glass which passes the impact test) in all replacement windows and doors, especially at lower levels. Laminated glass is good for safety and security.
  • To make existing glass safer, apply shatter resistant film to the surfaces.
  • When buying furniture which incorporates glass, look for approval to BS 7376 and BS 7449.
  • Always clear up broken glass quickly and dispose of it safely.
  • Buy a greenhouse or cold frame with special safety glazing fitted, or isolate it with fencing.


Over 36,000 children receive treatment for poisoning, or suspected poisoning accidents every year.

Most poisoning accidents involve medicines, household products and cosmetics. Some poisoning agents can cause breathing difficulties and you must seek medical attention immediately.


  • Keep medicines and chemicals out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard and dispose of unwanted medicines and chemicals safely.
  • Wherever possible, buy products in child resistant containers.
  • Always store chemicals in their original containers.
  • Avoid buying plants with poisonous leaves or berries, or those that can irritate the skin.

Suffocating and Choking

Children can swallow, inhale or choke on items such as small toys, peanuts and marbles.


  • Choose toys appropriate to the age and ability of the child, by checking the box for guidance.
  • Ensure that small objects such as marbles and peanuts and small toys are kept out of reach of children under 3 years old.
  • Warn older children to keep their toys away from their younger playmates.
  • Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and well out of reach.
  • Keep animals, especially cats, out of the bedroom and use a net on a pram.


Children should be under constant supervision when in or near any water as they can drown in less than 3cm of water. Prevention

  • Never leave children or babies in the bath unsupervised, not even for a moment.
  • Don’t leave uncovered bowls or buckets of water around the home.
  • Paddling pools should be emptied and stored away when not in use.
  • Garden ponds should be filled in while children are small or securely fenced off. Take special care when visiting other people’s gardens.

This is a very comprehensive and useful Action List for parents and carers regarding child safety.

Why not print it out and place it where it serves as a constant reminder of the dangers to children, or use it as a checklist for your home?

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