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Family Safety Week 2016 – New statistics highlight dangers to children in the home

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) today (Monday) launches its third annual Family Safety Week, which this year seeks to raise awareness of accidents to under-fives in the home with a series of events and campaign launches across the UK.

RoSPA has teamed up with Confused.com to highlight the risks and dangers faced by young children in the home, with the charity targeting a different issue each day of this week – falls, burns, poisons, and suffocation and choking – offering tips on how to guard against an unwanted trip to A&E.

New statistics released today, from research commissioned by price comparison site Confused.com, show how easy it is for an accident to befall a little one in the home, with more than a quarter of parents (27 per cent) saying that their child has injured themselves when they were in the same room as them.

Just over one in five (21 per cent) say their child injured themselves when they turned their back on them for just a short period.

Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “These statistics show just how easy it can be for a child under five to have an accident at home, in the place where we think that they should be the safest. Some of these can lead to serious, life-changing injuries, and in the worst cases, the death of a child.

“No matter how vigilant parents are, there is always the possibility that something has been missed, and some other things may not always be obvious dangers. We want to make sure that parents have the skills and knowledge necessary to prevent the distress and heartbreak accidents to children cause.”

Jessica Willock, life insurance expert at Confused.com, said: “At Confused.com we understand the importance of family, which is why we’re proud to be sponsoring Family Safety Week and working with RoSPA to spread the word about accident prevention.

“Throughout the week we’ll be highlighting the simple steps that can be taken to make your home a safer place. We will also be making a donation to RoSPA for every life insurance application submitted between March 7-13 to help raise awareness of accident prevention in the future.”

Tomorrow’s theme will be falls, which is the most common cause of accidents for children in the home, and will see Sheila Merrill take over @RoSPA on Twitter for a chat with parents and health professionals from 10am.

Wednesday will see a focus on burns, and includes RoSPA Scotland launching a poster campaign in Glasgow to raise awareness of the dangers of hair straighteners.

On Thursday RoSPA’s home safety team will be in Winchester for the Take Action Today campaign, raising awareness of issues around liquid laundry capsules, while a leaflet identifying potential poisoning and choking hazards will be launched in Northern Ireland, with the aim of reaching 20,000 families in the country.

On Friday suffocation and choking take centre stage, while the new Parent Hub, an extensive resource offering accident prevention advice for children from birth onwards, will be officially launched on RoSPA’s website, www.rospa.com

Once again RoSPA ambassadors Martin Roberts, presenter of the BBC’s Homes Under the Hammer, and double-Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell will be supporting the events throughout the week.

Martin said: “Being the father of two young children and knowing friends and colleagues who’ve lost loved ones in accidents, I know how crucial it is to get the balance right. That’s why I’d urge others to get involved. This isn’t about overzealous rules and regulations – it is about looking after the ones you love.”

James said: “I’m backing Family Safety Week because, like any parent, I want to do all I can to keep my children safe and so many accidents that our kids suffer have a lasting impact but are preventable.”

Family Safety Week was set up by RoSPA in a bid to help millions of people protect their loved ones from accidents – the number one cause of early preventable death.

This year’s five-day event has the theme of under-fives in the home. Advice and information is available atwww.familysafetyweek.org.uk

Keep up to date throughout the week on Twitter using the hashtag #SaferHomes.

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