Child Safety Week 2018, is running from 4th-10th June with the aim of drawing adults' attention to the potential hazards that children can face every day.

This initiative is being run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), a leading UK charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents.

CAPT have produced an action pack with information for adults and fun activities for children designed to heighten awareness of preventable accidents. You can download the pack here (PDF, 2771KB). You can also visit the Child Safety Week page of the CAPT website for more free, shareable resources on this year's theme; 'Safe children: together we’ve got this'.

Did you know, most accidents happen when products are in use?

“The doorbell rang just as I had literally 5 minutes to get the washing in before the school run! I dropped the clothes, rushed to answer the door. As I came back in I was horrified to see my daughter about to bite into the squishy purple washing tab I’d left on the side by mistake. Couldn’t believe I’d forgotten I’d left it there!”

It’s so easy for busy parents to be distracted while they’re doing the laundry or cleaning… The phone goes. A doorbell rings. The baby cries.

And, while their back is turned, a small child bites into a liquid laundry capsule, drinks from a bottle of toilet cleaner or sprays power cleaner into their eyes.

In fact, recent research shows that two-thirds of childhood accidents involving liquid laundry capsules happened when they weren’t safely stored:

  • either the container was out on the washing machine, kitchen counter or floor
  • or the capsule had been left on the kitchen counter or in the laundry basket.

What’s the attraction?

  • Babies and toddlers put everything in their mouths. It’s natural and it helps them learn.
  • Pre-schoolers like to copy and help the grown-ups around them.
  • Laundry and cleaning things can be brightly coloured. Children may think they are sweets or toys.

Baby eating watermelon

What’s the risk?

Powerful cleaning and laundry products make adults’ lives much easier but sometimes they can hurt babies, toddlers and small children. Concentrated detergents can cause vomiting or damage eyes or skin. In some cases, children may suffer severe poisoning.

One year-olds are at greatest risk of swallowing something harmful – it’s the combination of mouthing and mobility.
Toddlers between 24 and 36 months are at greatest risk of getting harmful products in their eyes or on their skin. They are incredibly curious and their improving dexterity means they find it much easier to manipulate things with their hands.

How can you keep children safe?

Safe storage:

  • Keep laundry and cleaning things on a high shelf or in a cupboard with a safety lock.
  • Look for products with safety tops – but remember that, while these slow children down, they are not completely child-proof

While products are in use:

  • Choose products that contain Bitrex. This bitter safety ingredient makes laundry and cleaning products taste vile, so children are far more likely to spit them out.

Once the chores are done:

  • Put laundry and cleaning products away as soon as you’ve used them.

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