Knowing how to keep our children safe or how to respond when accidents happen can be the difference between a quick trip to the medicine cabinet or hospital or life-long consequences. Accidents are all too common for children and that’s perfectly normal, but nobody wants to face the heartache and suffering caused when children are involved in serious accidents, that are fatal or have life-long repercussions.
That’s why we are supporting the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s Child Safety Week from 7-13 June, working to help families build confidence and skills in managing the real risks to children’s safety and encouraging everyone who reads this to share it with others – as sharing safety knowledge with others saves lives.
Kath Evans, Director of Children’s Nursing at Barts Health NHS Trust and Children and Young People’s Clinical Lead for East London Health & Care Partnership, said: “As a Children’s Nurse the last place I want to see a child or young person is in hospital, they are happiest in their homes, in schools and in playgrounds, having fun with their friends and families. Accidents are of course part of growing up, children are curious and we want them to explore their world, but some accidents are so serious they can change lives and can even be fatal. As I visit Children’s wards and Paediatric Intensive Care Units I hear time and time again of distressed families coping with the repercussions of accidents that have happened. That’s why this Child Safety Week, I’d love parents/families to pause and consider, the areas we are raising awareness on that from our experience in providing healthcare can keep children and families safe and happy.”
This year we want to highlight seven themes where together we can improve child safety by sharing information, raising awareness and having conversations that might help others.
- Breathe easy: It’s a scary thought that something could stop your child breathing, but the steps to stop that happening are simple and make sense.
- Fire Safe Families: You and your family are eight times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm. That’s because, if a fire breaks out at night, you won’t smell the smoke and wake up. Instead, the poisonous fumes will send you deeper into sleep.
- Free from falls: Scrapes and bruises are a part of growing up, but head injuries from falls can be fatal for young children. You can’t stop all falls but there are some serious ones you can easily avoid when you know how.
- Prevent Poisoning: Bright bottles of cleaning liquid, squidgy washing tablets, shiny packets of painkillers, small button batteries… small children are curious and want to learn more by putting things in their mouth. Thank goodness it’s easy to keep children safe when you know how.
- Safe Around roads: Do you know about the Green Cross Code? Road safety is a vital life skill for our children and easy to teach if you know how.
- Safe from Burns: A small child’s skin burns really easily as it’s so thin, but you can prevent serious burns.
- Watch out in water: Drowning happens silently. A drowning child can’t speak or control their arms. They slip quietly under the water. It’s only in the movies they splash about and cry for help. But once you understand how and where drowning happens, there are things you can do to prevent it.
You can find detailed information and fact sheets about each of these areas on the Child Accident Prevention Trust website (www.capt.org.uk), including a parent pack and information in a variety of community languages.