Child Safety Week is an annual community education campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). CAPT’s aim is to help families to build their confidence and enhance and/or improve families’ skills in managing the risks to children’s safety.
The week aims to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they could be prevented from occurring. This year’s theme is ‘safety in mind’.
Ages and stages
There is a direct link between accidents and child development:
- Physical development
A child has thinner skin, their head is larger, and they are not as strong as developed adults. The risks to them during this period are therefore greater due to their physicality.
- Cognitive development
A child’s understanding of risks and consequences develops over time, they will not yet appreciate risk and danger in the same way that adults do.
Exposure (where children spend their time)
- Under-fives are at greater risk in the home and garden;
- older children are at greater risk outside the home, as they start to make independent journeys to school, or are out playing with friends.
You can find more information about the main accident risks to children on CAPT’s website through their bite-sized facts and safety tips which can include information on the following:
Choking, strangulation, and suffocation
As babies and young children are still learning to chew, swallow and breathe in the right order, they can easily choke when eating, drinking, or on small objects. CAPT has some tips for how to stop choking from happening.
Families are eight times more likely to die in a fire if there is no working smoke alarm. CAPT has advice on how to prevent fires, such as checking smoke alarms, having an escape plan, and the importance of teaching children what to do if they see a fire.
Free from falls
Scrapes and bruises are a part of growing up but a fall could cause a bad head injury to a child. That’s because a babies’ head is twice as big as an adult’s. When babies land, their head takes much of the impact. CAPT has five main areas of focus: Cots, beds and changing tables, stairs, highchairs, trampolines, and windows.
Unfortunately, things that make our lives easier can be harmful to small children, as their bodies process poisons differently it’s important to ensure laundry and cleaning products are locked away.
Safety around roads
CAPT provides tips on the simple ways you can teach children road safety, whether they are a pedestrian, in the car or cycling.
Being aware of water
Drowning is often silent. Babies and small children mostly drown at home in the bath or in the garden and this can happen in just a few centimeters of water. Older children can still get into difficulties. This is because they may overestimate how strong a swimmer they are or underestimate risks in the sea or open water. Follow CAPT’s advice to prevent drowning from happening.
The fact sheets available are also translated into five languages: Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Polish and Arabic.
There is further safety advice on CAPT’s website including information on:
- Button batteries
- Toy safety
- Electric shocks
- Garden safety
Child Safety Week ends on Sunday 12 June 2022, to get involved CAPT are calling for people to do the following:
- Connect with them over Facebook and share their new safety animations and illustrations;
- read their safety fact sheets and then share what you’ve learnt with family, friends, and colleagues
- find a range of fresh and free resources for your work with including fact sheets, session plans, and materials for colourful displays;
- download their Child Safety Week Information Pack for a quick overview of their theme and free resources, including interactive games for children so that they can have fun whilst they learn about safety.
Zoë Clark, paralegal in our Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury team, contributed to this article.