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Keep Your Child Safe At Home

Last updated  30 May 2018

Preventable accidents are one of the biggest killers in the UK, but setting a good example, and spending a few moments spent making routine checks, can make all the difference.

 Kitchen-safety little girl reaching for pan

Small steps such as testing your smoke alarms, taking extra care in the kitchen and making sure candles and matches are out of reach, take just seconds but can save lives.

Here's some simple tips to help keep your child safe in the home.

  • Get into the habit of taking a quick glance around the room for hazards, it makes safety an automatic reflex and help give you real peace of mind.
  • Don't allow yourself or your children to be distracted by technology when you should be concentrating on something else.
  • Keep safe in the kitchen. Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen, with teatime often being particularly challenging. Whatever happens elsewhere in your home, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.
  • Make sure children know that the kitchen is not a play area. Never leave younger children alone in the kitchen when you're cooking, and never let them play near the oven and hob.
  • Use the back rings of your hob and ensure saucepan handle can't be reached by children
  • Put your kettle and other appliances that get hot at the back of worktops out of reach of children, make sure electric leads can't be reached
  • Hot drinks are a major cause of scalding, put them down well out of reach of young children, put your baby down before picking up your hot drink
  • Keep your hair straighteners out of reach and put them in a heat proof pouch or on a high shelf when finished with them
  • Don't let children play with fire. Keep candles, lighters and matches well out of children's reach, and never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Be careful around electricity. Teach children not to poke anything, especially fingers, into sockets. Do not overload sockets with too many appliances
  • If you smoke always make sure stubs are out properly. Never smoke in bed.
  • Nominate a child to be the escape champ. Regularly role-play escape routes and give children the responsibility to keep the routes clear.
  • Nominate a child to be the smoke alarm monitor. Explain how a working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to escape a house fire. Ask them to remind you to test it weekly.
  • Get 'key clever'. Encourage your children to check that keys are in the correct place. Keys for windows and doors should always be kept somewhere accessible so you can get out quickly in the event of a fire.
  • Discuss how to call 999. Make sure children know which number to call in an emergency. They should also know their address - you can pin both up by the phone. Explain the importance of only calling 999 in a real emergency.
  • In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999. Don't delay for valuables, and don't investigate or try to tackle the fire. Use a mobile phone, a neighbour's phone or a phone box to call 999. If someone needs to be rescued, wait safely outside for the firefighters who have the equipment and training to do it. Never go back in.

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