There are hundreds of accidents that happen across the UK every day, the majority of the accidents are preventable wtih a large number involving children and young people. In 2017 alone, the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) reported that three children a week died in avoidable circumstances and a further 2,000 were admitted to hospital. this raised questions about what more can be done to prevent accidents and keep children safe.
At the MFN, we recognise the importance of accident prevention and work closely with our foster carers to make sure they’re given the best possible training and advice on keeping children safe. To demonstrate the different types of risks, we’ve compiled a list of 6 common accidents that take place in homes and how to avoid them.
Even though the dangers of baths are known, the number of preventable deaths and near misses continue to be a huge concern across the country. In fact, in 2015, Public Health England kick-started a new awareness campaign to reiterate the dangers of unsupervised baths after a hike in the number of young children drowning in bath-time accidents.
When caring for very young children, you should always supervise them and never leave the children unattended at any time. All it takes is to leave the child for a quick min and the unforgettable can happen.
While we all understand the risks of medications and to keep them out of the reach and sight of children. Leaving painkillers within reach of little children can be easy too. Young children are attracted to tablets and mistake the colorfulness to sweets.
It is crucial that medication is kept away and out of reach of these little hands, the manufacturers are doing the best they can to make the medication look less appealing. Overdosing is a real danger to young children, and all it takes is one preventable mistake to end in tragedy.
This remains one of the most common preventable accidents amongst children. It is important to ensure the meals are cut into manageable sizes for young children.
Foods that are most likely to cause choking are grapes, nuts, carrots, and sweets, so make sure they are cut into smaller pieces if possible.
4. Toy Batteries
While all batteries pose danger to a young child, the button batteries, in particular, are the most dangerous. There has been a growing number of accidents where children have swallowed button batteries. When swallowed these buttons can often lodge in the throat or burn a hole through the lining leaving permanent damage.
When the child is playing with toys it should be done under supervision and make sure the child doesn’t take the toy apart. When the batteries die out to make sure you replace them yourself and dispose of the old batteries.
Staircases are the most dangerous obstacles in the house and all precautions should be taken to make them safe. Investing in a stairways safety gate is a great way of preventing children access to stair without you knowing. Make sure they are installed at the top and bottom of the stairs to avoid fall injuries.
If your a foster carer and welcoming children to your home for the first time then this is a good practice to adopt.
6. Blind Cords
Blind cords pose a significant risk to children and is one of the most dangerous items in the house. In 2014 new safety standards were introduced, requiring additional features to be added to the blinds to prevent strangulation.
For new foster carers, it is important to secure your blind cords before the child moves in. You can fix a cleat hook to tie up the cords to keep them out of reach. It is also good practice to talk to the child about the importance of not playing with blind cords. when buying new blind cords, choose those with a break feature so they snap loose under pressure.
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