Family Safety Week

RoSPA say this “accidents don’t have to happen”.

It’s Family Safety Week and we will be focusing on The Accident Free, Avoid A & E campaign.

Why? Because COVID is still having a huge impact on the NHS. RoSPA have developed a range of resources, hints and great tips on ensuring your family stay safe and stay out of hospital.

Who is mostly likely to have an accident at home?

‘Children under the age of five years and people in later life (those over the age of 65, and particularly those over 75) are most likely to have an accident at home.’ And sadly these accidents result in around 6,000 deaths each year.

What are the main risks at home?

  • Falls and trips
  • Scalding and burns
  • Poisoning from medicines, chemicals and food
  • Electric shocks
  • Deep cuts
  • Drowning
  • Suffocating, choking and strangulation

The obvious is falling down the stairs (both younger and older people suffer injuries from this), tripping over things like steps or furniture or falling off things like bunk beds.

When it comes to kettles, barbecues, over hot pans, and irons these can leave nasty burns and scalds which can need medical treatment.

Poisoning is something that can happen with children eating washing machine tablets, taking pills that can be toxic or worse and also food poisoning from incorrectly kept or cooked things like meat.

Electric shocks whilst rarer can leave a family member dead, shocks can come from any electrical item used within your home.

Deep cuts can range from injuries in the tool shed, falls off bikes or scooters, dog bites, banging heads on corners of things or falls.

Things like blind cords can pose a risk for children when it comes to strangulation and there’s so much that can cause suffocation from bedding to plastic packaging.

Family Safety

What do you need to consider for family safety when you have children?

There’s lots of safety related items new parents pop out and by like safety gates, plug blanking devices, monitors for sound or heat, thermometers, fire guards and child locks for cupboard doors. These are all great must have items and need installing correctly.

What more can you do?

  • Remove furniture from windows so climbing is not possible
  • Cover ponds with chicken wire or commercially available products to prevent access
  • Don’t use raised surfaces for babies
  • Even hair dryers can burn a child’s skin so make sure they are out of reach along with curling tongs and irons which can still injure when cooling down
  • Cut food into the right size for their age to prevent choking occurring
  • Watch out for things that seem innocuous like long bag handles, drawstrings and suchlike placed in areas a child can access
  • Cold first in the bath ALWAYS so if a child jumps in they won’t get burnt
  • Keep all your cleaning chemicals and medicines locked away
  • Make sure you don’t have any toxic plants in your garden with berries that look appealing to eat
  • Always supervise children around water whether it’s a pond, paddling pool or large puddle!
  • Keep sharp knives and scissors away from small hands
  • If you have glass doors in areas that could be ‘crashed’ into think about applying a shatter resistant film
  • Install smoke alarms and test them regularly
  • Make sure you have a bath mat inside the bath or shower tray
  • Put protectors on coffee table corners to soften the edges
  • Secure rugs to the floor
  • Use cable tidies and blind cleats so that things aren’t dangling
  • Ensure you have lockable windows and even window restrictors so they can’t be opened too widely

What are the top accidents for adults in the home?

First let’s break this down into a few segments; the elderly often have more accidents in the home due to spending more time there and becoming frailer. The other segment is younger adults who still have accidents just often different types.

Preventing elderly people from having accidents

Slips, trips and falls can be prevented in later life stages. Accessing strengthening training is a good way to help with balance if that’s still possible for a person to do. RoSPA have some examples you can share or access on their website.

It’s important to help an elderly person spot the hazards in their home like carbon monoxide poisoning from fires, flooring that could cause a trip, scalds from hot water or spillage of drinks. Could it be an elderly relative needs safety aids to prevent accidents and there are a lot available to purchase or hire from specialist equipment providers? It could be a congested lounge needs furniture removing so there is space to walk around safely with or without walking aids. Whilst these types of conversations can be tricky to have prevention is better than accidents happening.

Accidents prevention for adults

The things to think about here are:

  • Firework and BBQ usage
  • Using gardening and DIY tools carefully
  • Kitchen accidents like burns from boiling water or cuts from sharp knives
  • Fire safety in the home
  • Appliance safety like gas fires, tumble dryers and irons

Keeping out of hospital

Whilst your injury may necessitate you getting to A&E as fast as possible, and you should never hesitate, remember your GP surgery and local walk-in centres can help with minor injuries.

When you get home and this about family safety today after reading this you need to:

  • Look for the present hazards in your home
  • Think about what you can do NOW to remove them
  • Think about what needs to be done in the future to remove them (might need some investment there as an example)
  • Have conversations with your family so everyone sees the risks or hazards and knows how to behave.

Being safety conscious will reduce and accidents happening in your home.

If you would like to have a chat with us about health and safety within your business, please get in touch

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