Accidents in the home can burn

23 June 2010, 06:00

Its National Child Safety Week and the key message to parents is awareness. The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) is encouraging parents to be aware of things around the home that could cause minor but often painful accidents. These types of injuries include burns and scalds and youngsters taking a fall.

Paediatric Consultant Dr David Kirby works in Accident and Emergency at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, he says they see between 500 and 600 children in A&E each week, of which 350 children come in for minor injuries: “Eighty percent of what we see are minor injuries and we can often discharge the child that same day. Although the injuries are distressing we are able to treat them easily. We see a fair amount of broken bones and bruising, lacerations and grazes. We also see a fair amount of burns and scalds which is frustrating for us as they can be prevented fairly easily.”

Dr Kirby says these types of injuries need not happen if parents took preventative measures at home. He says “a lot of the time it’s making sure your child doesn’t take you by surprise. For example many of the falls we see are just as much a surprise to the parents because they didn’t realise the child could do that. Simple measures would be making sure your stair gate is closed and shut, putting on door or window locks to make sure children can’t open them. The other thing we would recommend are simple measures in terms of scolding’s, make sure the bath has cold water in it first or think about moving hot mugs to the back of the work surface”.

Dr Kirby says most parents are mortified when they bring their children in, they feel guilty and ashamed, “we try to reassure them but remind them of being on the look out for the dangers.”

The Children's charity CAPT (Child Accident Prevention Trust) are behind this campaign and have come up with practical and useful tips to make a house safe without wrapping up children in cotton wool. 

For more information on child safety in the home go to: