Organised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Family Safety Week, this year focuses on accidents to children around the home. In the third of our exclusively written posts, we’re giving some helpful tips and advice on how to avoid poisoning at home and how to protect children from accidental poisoning.
Now in its third year, Family Safety Week, organised by RoSPA aims to bring awareness to accidents around the home involving small children under the age of five. More than 28,000 children receive treatment every year for poisoning or suspected poisoning incidents.
With more than 90% of all poisoning accidents occurring at home, it’s important to consider the potential dangers a small child can encounter within a household setting. Many common items and objects can cause poisoning to a child including cleaning supplies, cosmetics, plants and medicines so it’s important to ensure these are out of reach of young children and locked away somewhere safe.
Household products such as bleach and laundry products. Drain cleaners and toilet cleaners can cause devastating burns throughout the mouth, throat and stomach. Cleaning products can be just as harmful in causing chemical burns as a fire can be.
Foreign object such as pieces of toys, coins and batteries. Button batteries can be lethal if swallowed as, if trapped in the esophagus, they can cause severe burns and even create a hole.
Pills and tablets such as adult-strength iron pills can cause a severe reaction to a child. They are very dangerous for children to swallow and can cause a child to vomit blood.
Antifreeze can be lethal to both pets and humans. Windscreen washing fluid and antifreeze liquids have been known to cause blindness or death. Antifreeze can also cause kidney failure.
Mouthwash, cleansers, toners and hair products can sometimes have as much alcohol in them as an alcoholic beverage and can cause seizures, coma or death.
The most obvious advice would be to ensure all medicines and chemicals are locked away out of sight. Where possible, place them in a hard to reach cupboard where your child will not be able to get to. This includes storing personal items such as hairspray and nail varnish somewhere safe too.
Fit safety locks on cupboard doors to prevent your little one from getting in for extra peace of mind and protection. Also, make sure that bottle tops are placed on items securely and properly so that they don’t fall off. When storing household items, try and store them in a room which is most commonly used so that if your child does manage to climb into the cupboard they could be easily spotted by another member of the family.
Don’t store any chemicals, cleaning products or medicines near food as they could be mixed up by your child and they could accidentally ingest it causing a tummy upset or worse. Additionally, keep medicines in their original packaging where possible and never put chemicals or medicines, such as weedkiller in drink cartons or containers.
Medicines do come in child-resistant containers these days and you can buy these at most pharmacists and supermarkets however do be aware that child-resistant does not mean child proof. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old are much more likely to be able to get into the child-resistant tops of medication bottles and so keep them locked away with the rest of your medications.
When your child has to take medicine in order to feel better, avoid referring to it as a ‘sweet’ as it may encourage them to associate the medicine with a treat. They will not only get confused but they could ingest too much at a later date if they think it’s a sweet surprise.
Be careful with tablets or medicines that we may not realise we have such as those in bags or on bedside cabinets. A child can easily get into these and swallow something by accident.
When in the kitchen, be extra vigilant with your child around and bright coloured items such as detergent capsules or washing up liquid. They can be attractive to little hands with their bright colours and squishy covering but are really harmful to little tums and can be dangerous if they squirt out into their eyes!
Finally, if you have guests staying over or if you go to visit friends or relatives, gently ask them to clear away any potentially harmful products and keep an eye on your child at all times.
Have you got any tips for protecting your child against poisoning at home? Or perhaps you know of some hazards which we haven’t mentioned? Be sure to let us know by getting in touch via Facebook or Twitter.
Held annually on November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night is one of the most awaited holidays of the year. Commonly known as Bonfire Night or as Fireworks Night, it is a holiday which is celebrated in Britain and in several countries that were once part of the British Empire. It commemorates the foiled Gunpowder Plot of 1605 in which a group of Catholics failed to assassinate the Protestant King James I. They wanted to replace him with a Catholic head of state. On November 5th, 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested when he was caught guarding 36 barrels of explosives placed beneath the House of Lords.
Days following his arrest, many conspirators including Fawkes were arrested and then hanged, drawn and quartered. The following year, the Observance of 5th November Act 1605 was passed to commemorate the event. It is celebrated till today with parades, fireworks, and straw effigies of Guy Fawkes and other political figures which are tossed into the communal bonfire.
Although, public parks provide great entertainment, they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Many prefer to host an event in the comfort of their backyard. A private event will give you the liberty to serve food of your choice, play your favorite tunes, and host a variety of activities. While, a get together with friends and family is always fun, starting a bonfire and setting off fireworks can be quite dangerous. Last year, 4436 individuals attended the emergency room because of injuries sustained during Guy Fawkes Night.
The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) is currently calling on the Government to make a legislature mandating all firework packaging include graphic warnings like the ones which appear on cigarette boxes. They are hopeful people will take caution when hosting a fireworks display.
Set Off Fireworks:
Start a Bonfire:
Dependency on heating has risen tenfold since autumn has begun. Temperatures will dip further in the coming months. We will be greeted by chilly winds and snowstorms which will force many to stay indoors. Our security blanket against the harsh weather is none other than a gas operable boiler. Manufacturers of national boiler brands promise warmth and comfort. In most circumstances, they deliver on their promise but in some instances, boilers pose as a threat to the well-being and lives of all living at home. Boilers that emit carbon monoxide need to be capped off immediately as they are a source of danger.
Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of gas boilers and is usually released outdoors through a flue. The deadly gas will equalize in our home under two circumstances: either the flue is blocked, or our boiler is defective. Carbon monoxide will release if there are cracks in the combustion chamber, leak in the seams or cracks in the exhaust piping. Its symptoms include nausea, blurred vision, loss of consciousness and breathlessness. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing these symptoms as a case of the flu. It is far more lethal!
Its pseudonym ‘silent killer’ is eerily befitting. The Department of Health reports carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for 4000 medical visits and up to 50 deaths annually. As exposure to carbon monoxide increases, its symptoms go from bad to worse. Breathing in high levels of the deadly gas can cause seizures, a feeling that your environment is spinning, loss of physical co-ordination and Parkinsonism. It is a degenerative neurological condition that is characterized by stiffness, impaired speech and slow movement.
Carbon monoxide detectors come dime a dozen. Choose wisely after researching the pros and cons of each type. You can find alarms that are plugged into an outlet and those that are wired into a wall by an electrician. Battery-operated alarms are commonly used.
Install a carbon monoxide alarm in every room that contains a fuel-burning appliance such as a gas boiler or a hob. The alarm should be at least 3 meters away from the appliance. You should also install an alarm in any room which has a flu.
If you wish to install it on a wall, make sure that it is at least 15 centimeters away from the ceiling. You can also install the alarm on the ceiling, but it should be at least 30 CM away from the light source and walls.
The best place to install an alarm is your bedroom and the rooms in which you spend the most amount of time in. If you live in a multi-level home, you should install an interconnected carbon monoxide detector on every floor. All units will sound off even if one device detects the deadly gas.
Care should be taken to not install a detector behind drapery, furniture or in enclosed spaces such as a cupboard. This will prevent the device from effectively detecting the silent killer. Additionally, do not place the alarm next to a window, vent or a door or in a damp area like a bathroom.
The step by step installation of battery-operable alarms differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is therefore very important to read the manual which came with the packaging before you begin installation.
Use the template that comes with the instruction manual and place it against the wall. Mark installation holes with a pencil. Next, use a screwdriver to make holes on the marked spots. Place the wall plugs into the holes by tapping them into position.
Place the screws into the anchors and then screw them in tightly. Afterwards, fit the carbon monoxide detector into position.
Insert the batteries into the device. Next, test the alarm by holding down the ‘Test’ button until you hear it beeping. The alarm will sound for 3 to 5 seconds before turning off automatically.
Make it a habit to test the alarm every month by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds off. This will ensure the alarm circuitry is functional. You should also test the sensor of the unit occasionally by using a canned CO detector test spray. It is a non-flammable aerosol. Press the spray nozzle for at least 3 seconds. Your alarm should sound off within minutes.21/10/2019
Wearing layers of clothes will help keep you warm during winter, but you will need to take several preventative measures to winterize your home. By taking precaution, you will not only lower your energy bills but in most cases, you will save yourself the hassle of calling a professional to weatherproof your home. The perils of not paying heed are several. If the temperature in your home falls below 16°C, the chances of falling gravely ill skyrocket. The elderly, children and those with disabilities are at the highest risk. Those with respiratory illness and high blood pressure can also develop complications such as heart attacks and pneumonia. Regardless of how harsh the weather becomes; we believe the following tactics can help you live indoors with ease.
You need to inspect every nook and cranny to ensure your home is weatherproof. Cold air often enters through gaps in windows and doors. Caulking around these gaps is an inexpensive solution to keep the draft out. Begin caulking around the window frames outside your home and if necessary, fill in the gaps by caulking inside. Alternatively, you can apply weather strip around the window frames. Once you have measured the length of strip required, cut as necessary and stick it over the gaps.
If your windows are past their prime, replace them with double pane windows. They are different from a single pane window because they have two layers of glass. Although, they may cost more than their single pane counterparts, double glaze windows are far more advantageous. They offer noise reduction and more importantly are energy efficient. Additional insulation on your windows can save you up to 30% on your annual energy bills.
You can winterize your doors by using an under-door draft stopper. They prevent heat loss by closing the gap at the bottom of the door. Under-door draft stoppers come in a variety of forms and are easily installed with the help of a hammer and handful number of nails. Brush door sweep, self-adhesive weather strip, door snake and twin draft guard are readily available at most hardware stores. Before you make a purchase, take into consideration how wide your door is and how big the gap is.
Prevent cold air from entering through your windows with insulated draperies. Thermal curtains are energy efficient because they are lined with heavy material. They can save up to 30% in heat loss. It is best to keep them open during the day so sunlight can come in and to draw them at night. You can purchase drapery that comes with lining or ones that sells lining separately. Another option is to use honeycomb cellular shades. Cellular shades contain honeycomb packets that trap heat to block out the cold. Your home will be ready for winter by using cellular shades paired with thermal curtains.
You can weatherproof your home by having your boiler serviced before the arrival of winter. Having an early boiler service will help the engineer catch problems in your boiler. Servicing your boiler will also increase its lifetimes and improve its efficiency.
It is ideal to have a boiler breakdown cover that provides emergency repair along with an annual boiler service. Although, independent tradesmen are available for hire, calling them out on the 11thhour during the dead of winter often proves difficult. They provide service in their local area only and cater to a limited number of customers daily. It is better to work with an organization that is reputable and are top-notch experts in their field.
247 Home Rescue has a network of 3000 engineers and provide cover throughout the United Kingdom. We specialize in boiler installation, annual service and emergency repair. We also employ tradesmen that are registered with Gas Safe Register which eliminates the risk of rogue tradesmen that do more harm than good.
As the temperature dips below zero, your water pipes are at risk of freezing over. This will not only cause discomfort as you will be unable to take hot showers, there is a possibility the pipes will burst and lead to flooding. You can prevent pipes from freezing by keeping your heating on even when you aren’t at home. Caulk or use spray foam insulation to fill the gaps where pipes run through walls or floors. Finally, apply heating tape directly to the pipes or fiberglass sleeves to decrease the chances of pipes freezing over.03/10/2019