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Child Safety Scotland

Keeping young children safe at home is on the agenda as Scotland’s first Family Safety Week gets underway today (March 24).

‘Looking around your home from a child’s point of view’ is the theme of day one of the week, which is being launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Scotland (RoSPA Scotland) to help people protect their loved ones from accidents.

Accidents are the UK's biggest killer of children, with under-fives being most at risk in the home. Hospital admissions after accidents involving this age group have been rising by about five per cent per year.

Falls account for about 48 per cent of home accidents involving under-5s. Scalds, burns, poisoning, cuts, suffocation, choking and strangulation are other key causes.

Most home accidents involving children happen in the living/dining room. However, the most serious accidents happen in the kitchen and on the stairs. Every year more than 43,000 children under five have an accident in the kitchen.

RoSPA Scotland is behind a child safety resource for parents that can be found on the Child Safety Scotland (www.childsafetyscotland.org.uk) and Go Safe Scotland (http://www.gosafescotland.com/) websites from this week. The resource covers home, road and water safety for children aged up to 11. It will complement work that will be taking place in schools to teach children about all aspects of safety.

Parents and carers can find also information on how to keep children safe at home at www.familysafetyweek.org.uk.

RoSPA is urging people to get involved during Family Safety Week by taking part in its online National Accident Survey, making a safety pledge or sharing advice with friends, family and colleagues.

Liz Lumsden, RoSPA Scotland’s community safety manager, said: “Children under five naturally like to explore the world around them.

“It’s important not to wrap them in cotton wool and to remember that bumps and bruises are a normal part of childhood. But simple things, like looking around your home from a child’s point of view, can help you spot the more serious hazards that you might have missed and take steps to make them safer.

“For example, looped blind cords hanging within a child’s reach should be tied up and low-level cupboards containing household cleaning products could have locks fitted or the products could be moved to higher cupboards.”

Family Safety Week runs until March 28. Other themes during the event include learning to swim, helping learner drivers, becoming safer drivers at work and preventing falls.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has been at the heart of accident prevention for 97 years. Its current child safety campaigns include blind cords, driveways, nappy sacks and cleaning products.

This year’s Family Safety Week is sponsored by Royal Mail.

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