This week is Child Accident Prevention Trust’s Child Safety Week 2015. So we’re taking a step back from our normal focus on PAT testing to look at how you can keep yourself and your family safe.
The official subject for Child Safety Week 2015 is Teatime Terrors – all the accidents that can happen while you’re distracted by hungry children, hot pans, boiling water and sharp knives. It sounds like a disaster movie before we even start!
Household safety, just like workplace safety, is best viewed through the lens of “prevention is better than cure”. If you know that something in your home is faulty, or even just “a little temperamental”, it’s safest to have it repaired or replaced before it causes a major problem.
For example, that pan with a loose handle. We’ve all got one, and it’s usually the only pan in the house that doesn’t stick every time you use it. I’ve used pans from Tesco and pans from Stellar and Viners, and the best one is always the one with the loose handle. In fact, that’s probably why it’s the one with the loose handle.
For the sake of something as simple as either tightening a screw or replacing a pan, you literally play with fire every day. Your kids are round your ankles as you shift the pan from the hob to the sink to drain it, and it’s just a matter of luck that neither you nor they have been hit by boiling water or scalding food yet.
What else could go wrong?
One of the big challenges around teatime safety is attention – you’re pulled in so many directions that it’s almost impossible to concentrate on any one thing. My own sister had her hands full with a hot tray of roast potatoes when my niece, a toddler at the time, dragged a teatowel from the kitchen side and it caught on a chopping board. The chopping board came along for the ride and gave poor baby S a nasty bump.
(In fact, I also recall my sister running full pelt into the kitchen table and knocking herself out cold as a young child – some accidents are avoidable, others less so.)
Teaching children about danger from an early age can help – they should know not to play in the kitchen and especially not near the cooker, and to avoid plug sockets – and older siblings can help keep younger ones safe. Or tell on them to get them in trouble, if they’re anything like my siblings and I used to be!
So how do we do that?
There are some fab resources, including a free action pack for Child Safety Week, on the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s website, and some great information on the Electrical Safety First website too.
Also, use a little common sense – have a quick look around, and think about what your children might find intriguing. If they like to play with lights, make sure the electric fire isn’t easy for them to use; if you have a child (like my brother) who enjoys poking around and tinkering with things, hide the screwdrivers (after repairing the loose pan handle, of course).
I’ll also share some extra information over the course of this week, so keep coming back for more!