During the week, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service are asking friends, families, communities and professionals to show they care by playing their part in keeping children safe and sharing their experience and knowledge – not just about the horrors of accidents, but also the really practical, simple things they do to prevent them.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Schools Education Officer, Ruth Greenhalgh said: “Child Safety Week provides us with the ideal opportunity to talk to parents and carers about the dangers they face in the home. For young families, the risks that new children bring may not always be apparent, but by doing something as simple as fitting and testing a smoke alarm or booking in a free safe and well check, parents can make their homes safer and reduce the potential dangers their children may face.
“Helping children stay safe is not just about fire safety though, we work with a range of partners including Public Health to see how we can be part of a wider agenda on keeping families safe with everything from assessments for slips, trips and falls, to healthy eating and fire safety education. For us, the main priority is keeping children safe in any way we can!”
Top tips for a safer home include:
- A working smoke alarm doubles the chances of getting a family out of a fire. Fit a smoke alarm on each floor and practise an escape route.
- Hot drinks are the number one cause of serious scald injuries among babies and young children. So think carefully about where you place hot drinks.
- Painkillers are the biggest villain when it comes to poisoning young children. Watch out for handbags on the floor or pills by the bedside table. Keep them out of sight and out of reach.
- One of the worst ways for small babies to be injured on the stairs is when they are being carried by a parent who slips or trips, so keep a hand free to hold on when carrying your baby up or down the stairs.
- Children have difficulty judging speed and distance until they are at least eight, and older children are still at risk: the number of children injured as pedestrians peaks at 12 when many children start travelling to and from school on their own. So try and set a good example to young children when you are out walking together as they are likely to copy your habits.
- Most babies and small children, who drown, drown at home in the bath or in the garden. Babies can drown in as little as 5cm of water. So never leave them unattended!
- It can take just 20 seconds for a toddler to die by strangulation if they get tangled in a blind cord, Fit cleat hooks to tie blind cords back and keep beds, cots and high chairs away from blind cords and chains.
In addition to fire safety in the home, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service also loan out a fire engine activity box for preschool groups to help young children have fun whilst learning about fire safety. The box contains fire fighter uniforms with helmets, a role play corner pack, a story book and other resources with activity ideas to engage children.
The Service has also developed a ‘healthy eating’ pack to use with the children. The pack allows the children to pick healthy eating options for the firefighter in the picture, so they relate healthy eating and fitness with community role models.
For more information on fire safety in the home, visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/firesafetycheck alternatively for more information on our pre-school boxes go to http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/firesafetyeducation
To find out more about Child Safety Week go to the Child Accident Prevention Trust website http://www.childsafetyweek.org.uk/