In recognition of Childhood Accident Prevention week (7-13 June) Health Visitor Jenny Gilmour is sharing vital safety advice and information to parents with the aim of helping to prevent needless accidents happening to their children.
#Hellomyname is Jenny and as a Health Visitor, the last thing I want a child or young person to experience is an accident that could have been prevented. I want to ensure, through sharing age-appropriate health information and offering safety advice to parents and carers at the right developmental stages, that children and young people remain well and healthy, thrive, and be where 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 safe from serious harm, but some accidents are so serious that they can change lives and can even be fatal.
'Share because you care' is this year's theme and is centred around supporting distressed families who are coping with the repercussions of accidents that have happened.
That's why this Childhood Accident Prevention week, I'm sharing brief facts across seven areas from my experience in working as a Health Visitor and in providing public health nursing care, for parents /families to pause and consider.
(The following advice is from the Childhood Accident Prevention Trust: www.capt.org.uk)
It's such a scary thought that something could stop your child breathing, putting their life at risk. But the steps to prevent that awful scenario from happening are simple.
Advice – download factsheet: Read about Window Blind cord safety, safe sleeping and use of slings: Baby Sling Safety | The T.I.C.K.S Rule for Safe Babywearing, risks of nappy sacks ( safe storage) and choking advice: Baby choking - The Chokeables | St John Ambulance (sja.org.uk)
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. So, it makes sense to have a smoke alarm upstairs and downstairs, to protect you and your family from smoke that can kill in minutes, before you even wake up.
Advice – download factsheet: to Prevent fires, fit and check your smoke alarms, plan your escape and teach children what to do if they see a fire.
Free from falls
Scrapes and bruises are a part of growing up. But even a fall from a highchair can cause a bad head injury. That's because babies' heads are twice as big (proportionally) as ours, which makes them top-heavy. And when they land, their head takes much of the impact. While you can't prevent all falls, there are some serious ones that you can easily stop once you know how and why.
Advice – download factsheet: Safeguard against falls from cots, beds, changing tables, stairs, highchairs, windows, and for safer use of trampolines.
Bright bottles of cleaning liquid, squidgy washing tablets, shiny packets of painkillers… Small children are curious and want to learn more by putting things in their mouths. Unfortunately, things that make our lives easier can be harmful to small children, as their bodies process poisons differently. Thank goodness it's easy to keep children safe.
Advice – download factsheet: Follow the advice and guidance on safe storage of laundry products, cleaning products, and everyday painkillers.
Safe Around roads
It can be hard knowing how best to teach your child to stay safe. There is simple advice that helps you to break it down and keep it simple.
Advice – download factsheet: Touches on Pedestrians as younger/older children, in the car, cycling, driving.
Safe from Burns
A small child's skin burns very easily as it's so thin. Follow the advice on how to prevent serious burns.
Advice – download factsheet: Safe management of hot drinks, hair straighteners, cooking, bathwater, fire and heaters, button batteries, and magnetic toys in the home environment.
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. It's a scary thought. But once you understand how and where drowning happens, there are things you can do to prevent it.
Advice – download factsheet: Things to consider when using a bath, out and about, in the garden, at the beach.
All seven topic Fact Sheets are from the Parents Pack: Safe from Accidents which is free to download from CAPT: Download.ashx (capt.org.uk). This is published in English and includes more information and advice on all seven topics, a quiz, spot the difference, and safety word search activities.
Translated information is planned and five fact sheets will be available soon in Urdu, Bengali,
Punjabi, Polish, and Arabic on the website.
The Childhood Accident Prevention Trust www.capt.org.uk has lots of helpful resources for parents, do take a look and follow them on Twitter @CAPTcharity #ChildSafetyWeek
Please share because you care and together let's work to keep our children and young people safe in Tower Hamlets, so they have the best childhoods possible!
Jenny Gilmour is a Health Visitor, working in a 0-19 Service Development Lead Role for the GP Care Group.