Keeping Children Safe

Most accidents happen in the home, where we might think children are safest. Child Safety Week aims to help families understand the risks and offer simple ways that accidents can be prevented.

Help us to spread the word about child safety!

Safety in the Home

Burns and scalds – Common causes of burns and scalds include hot drinks, hot oven hobs and doors, and hair straighteners.

The skin of a new-born baby is 15 times thinner than that of an adult. A mug of tea or coffee with milk left standing for 10 minutes can still scald a baby or toddler in less than 1 and a half seconds.

  • Put your hot drink well out of reach – don’t rely on young children to understand not to touch
  • Keep hair straighteners out of reach when you are using them. Hair straighteners can still burn 15 minutes after they are switched off.
  • Bath water can cause a serious scald in just 5 seconds – put the cold water in first and top up with hot in case your toddler falls in.
  • Babies in cots can trap arms or legs against radiators – move cots away from radiators and fit fireguards around fires and heaters.

Find more information and advice here:

NHS Choices:


Falls – Everyday 45 children under 5 are admitted to hospital because they have fallen and hurt themselves.

Children love to explore and try new things, they have no sense of danger! Even if you have told them not to do something, children may not understand what could go wrong.

You can help keep children safe by:

  • Fitting safety gates on stairs
  • Strapping babies and toddlers into their highchair every time you use it
  • Fit safety catches to windows
  • Keep furniture away from windows to stop children climbing up
  • Never leaving a baby alone on a raised service


Fire Safety – Do you have a route planned to escape the house in case of a fire? Do you have a working smoke alarm fitted?

You can help limit accidents relating to fire and electricity by following the steps below:

  • Have a working smoke alarm both upstairs and downstairs
  • Test your fire alarm each week – don’t remove the battery if it goes off when you cook
  • Keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of young children
  • Store your hair straighteners safely
  • Take care not to overload electrical sockets, for example, if you use a toaster and a kettle on an extension lead running from one socket, it is dangerously overloaded

Find more information here:

Child Accident Prevention Trust:


Poisoning – Everyday children are rushed to hospital because they might have swallowed something poisonous. Most poisoning is from everyday medicines such as painkillers. Remember – some 3-4 year olds can open child safety caps in seconds!

Babies and toddlers learn by putting things in their mouths. Cleaning products and liquitabs are bright coloured and particularly attractive!

  • When giving children medicine, never pretend that it is a treat or a sweet – they might get the wrong idea about other medicines.
  • When you visit other people’s houses, medicines and cleaning things may be easier to get to.
  • Keep medicines and cleaning products out of sight and reach, in a locked cabinet if you can.
  • Don’t leave your handbag on the floor.

How to treat poisonings:

  • Don’t make the child sick, or give them anything to eat or drinks
  • Get medical help immediately. If the child is being sick, blacking out, having fits or is very sleepy, call 999 for an ambulance or go to A&E straight away.
  • Remember to take the package/bottle with you to hospital.


Safe Sleeping –Sleep is really important for babies and toddlers. You can help your baby to sleep safely and soundly by following the tips below:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
  • Never sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby
  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping, or use loose bedding

Don’t forget that these safety tips are just as important when you are staying with friends, relatives or away on holiday.

For more information, visit the Lullaby Trust:


With summer fast approaching, it’s important to remember to keep safe whilst enjoying the good weather.

Sun Safety – Whilst it’s great to be playing outside and enjoying the sunny weather, it’s important to keep children safe from the sun. Exposing a child’s skin to too much sun can increase their risk of developing skin cancer later in life, as well as causing pain and discomfort in the short-term.

  • Encourage your child to play in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Keep babies under 6 months old out of direct sunlight
  • Use sunscreen on your child, even on cloudy or overcast days, and reapply throughout the day
  • Protect your child’s eyes with sunglasses that meet the British Standard and carry the “CE” mark

You can find more sun safety advice at NHS Choices:


Water safety – Did you know, babies can drown in as little as 5cm of water?

Be particularly careful with water safety during the summer months when it is hot and children may want to cool off. Follow the tips below to keep safe:

  • Make sure that you empty the paddling pool after use.
  • Take great care around ponds and pools – fence it off or cover it while your children are small. Be careful when you visit friends and families with ponds and pools.
  • Remind children now to swim in canals or rivers, there can be strong currents, deep water and objects they can’t see.
  • Never leave your baby or young child alone in the bath.

More information:

NHS Choices:


Safety on the Road – Child road injuries peak between 3pm and 7pm. Make sure your child knows the steps in the Green Cross Code.

As a driver, your speed makes a great difference to child safety. Keep an eye on your speed.

Walking and Crossing the Road – Children have difficulty in judging speed and distance. Teach your child the Green Cross Code from age 5 and discuss road safety with them:

  • Make sure your child knows to hold your hand when near roads
  • Set a good example – don’t dash across the road
  • Remind children not to talk or text on mobile phones, or listen to music when crossing the road

In Cars – Did you know, not all car seats fit all cars? Make sure your child’s car seat is correct and is fitted properly.

  • Use the right car seat for your child’s age, weight and height.
  • All children under 135cm tall or under the age of 12 must use a car or booster seat.
  • Make sure all passengers wear a seat belt at all times.

Cycling – Make sure your child always wears a helmet when cycling.

NHS Choices:

Road Safety in Shropshire:


First Aid Training – A number of organisations provide paediatric/child first aid training.

The British Red Cross offers advice and various first aid courses:

St John’s Ambulance courses:

Shropshire Children’s Centres also offer first aid training:


For further information please visit these useful websites:-

Child Accident Prevention Trust:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents:

Shropshire Children’s Centres:




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