Children’s safety at Christmas is something that we’re thinking about at Conies. Many of us will be travelling to relatives’ or friends’ homes over the festive break and here’s our top Christmas safety tips if you’re away from home for a few days.
1. Get there safely — As a road safety organisation this is bound to be top of our list. Make sure your car seat is correctly fitted for the journey – a worrying 70 percent of children travel in incorrectly fitted seats according to government figures. Once you’ve arrived, stay alert, if you get lifts with someone else, make sure that any journeys in different cars are safe. Always fit the seats properly, taking time to check them. Remember that not all seats fit in all cars, and if you need to put a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger side, you must turn off the front air bags. Consider activating the rear child locks, people who don’t travel regularly with children in their car aren’t likely to have them switched on.
2. Guard against burns and scalds — Visiting a different home over Christmas may mean you having to re-assess the risks. Scalds are the fourth highest cause of hospital admission for under-fives, with hot drinks causing most of the incidents and bath scalds being the most serious. Different kitchen layouts could mean higher risks of hot pans falling from cookers. Radiators, kettles and hair straighteners can also be dangerous for young children. Make sure the festive candles are all extinguished at night and keep lighters and matches out of harm’s way.
3. Suffocation and strangulation — Tragically, this is the leading cause of accidental death in children under five. A different home may present new dangers such as blind cords, and temporary sleeping arrangements need to be safe from risks of suffocation from pillows or sheets. Remember to keep nappy bags away from young children.
4. Poisoning — Four thousand young children under five are admitted to hospital each year following a poisoning incident. Visiting a different home may mean a quick check around to make sure things are safe. Move chemicals out of accessible cupboards, and make sure medicines are out of reach – this is the cause of seventy percent of poisoning accidents.. New toys mean new batteries, so watch out for button batteries which are dangerously tempting for babies and toddlers.
Your hosts may not be used to having children in the house, but a quick check around your temporary home will mean you can enjoy the festivities happily and safely – Merry Christmas!