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Family Safety Week: 8 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe

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Charlie Wright
Published On
March 31, 2020

Family Safety Week (29th March) is an annual week-long campaign from family safety charity RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). As Airsweb is a strategic RoSPA partner, we wanted to call attention to Family Safety Week. This week focuses on the simple measures for families to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from accidental injury, and the heartbreak it can cause.

The biggest threats to safety are very close to home. According to the US National Safety Council (NSC), motor vehicle accidents, falls, accidental poisoning, drowning, and choking are the leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths. Here are the 7 easiest tips to prevent these factors and keep your family safe.

1. Ensure Child Safety Seats Are Correctly Fitted

The use of a car seat will reduce the risk of an injury for a child. A Swedish study of 3,670 children aged 0 to 15 years, involved in car crashes between 1987 and 2004, found that child seats for children up to 3 - 4 years old reduced the likelihood of injury by 90% compared with being unrestrained.

However, close to 80% are not installed correctly. The most common mistakes are:

  • The car seat is not tight enough.
  • The recline position isn't correct.
  • The child is not strapped in correctly.

 It is always important to take an extra few minutes to double-check the car seat is correct as it could improve your child’s safety significantly. The safest place for a child seat in the middle of the back seat. If a child must ride in the front passenger seat, the airbag should be turned off. This will create a safer environment for your child, and peace of mind for you as a parent, to know your child is safe.

2.Prevent Poisoning

NSC says that poisoning is a leading cause of death in the home. In 2011, poisonings overtook motor vehicle crashes for the first time as the leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death for all ages combined. Gases, chemicals, and other substances cause positioning deaths. The main substances that cause accidental death are:

  • Medicines
  • Poisonous houseplants
  • Cleaning products
  • Pesticides

Keep your medications locked away from young fingers and always tighten child-resistant caps properly. Cleaning products should be kept in high cabinets or have a safety latch. For a safety precaution, keep a poison control centre phone number on the fridge. Just in case of an incident occurring. This will lead to a quick response and reduce the risk of this serious occurrence.

3.Online Safety (Cyber Safety)

Parental controls and internet filters are important steps to improve online safety for your children. Web protection will help to be effective in reducing the chance of your child stumbling across explicit content.

For social media, it is best to introduce age restrictions for when a child is allowed online (at least 13 years old). Children are increasingly targeted in online attacks. Parents should take the steps to instil secure computing habits and protect their child’s devices. Children are using computer technology and internet-connected devices at younger ages than ever.Becoming familiar with what that they wish to use, will help a parent to understand the options needed to enable the safest experience.

Teach a child the basics of using a computer. For instance, simple electrical safety and that they should never give away any personal information online. Show them the security programme you run or anything vital on the computer and explain why it is important. Explaining this will enable a safer experience for your child online.

4. Choking Hazards

Suffocation is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury-related death over all age groups. The primary cause is by choking on food or other objects. Mechanical suffocation is the number 1 cause of death for infants. Taking control of environmental factors like a crib will help to improve the safety of the baby. The sleeping position can increase the risk of impaired breathing and suffocation. Put babies to sleep on their backs on a firm mattress, not a soft cushion or blanket. Make sure to keep toys with long cords away from small children.

The introduction of new foods can cause anxiety for a parent. Popcorn, nuts, grapes and hard sweets are just some of the firm, round foods that children under 4 can choke on. If introduced carefully, there should be no need to worry. Small objects that a child could swallow should be safely out of reach.

5.Slips, Trips And Falls

More than 50% of all falls occur in the home. Falling is one of the top 5 leading causes of unintentional-injury-related deaths over all age groups. It is, however, the number 1 cause of death for those 65 and older. Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls.

Children have the same likelihood of falling as their seniors. There are a few easy ways to reduce the risk of both mature people and children falling. Tripping hazards, such as cords, rugs, and toys scattered on the floors are just a few of the obstacles that could cause injury. It is safest to keep your home clear of these. Keep the stairs particularly clear, placing handrails on both sides of the stairs will help to enable balance. Nonslip mats for the bath and shower are quick fixes that will significantly improve the safety of your home.

Under no circumstance should a baby be left alone on a bed or changing table. This is an obvious high-risk scenario. Using safety straps on highchairs and pushchairs are simple but effective ways to reduce an incident from occurring.

6. Be Prepared For Fire

Fire is the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury-related death over all ages. About 2,646 deaths were caused by burns and injuries related to fire in 2015. Fires often start at night, when everyone is asleep. It is important to regularly test your smoke detectors are working and up to date. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers can help to prevent injury and death if a fire starts in your home. Detectors should be checked monthly and batteries should be changed twice a year.

It is helpful to teach your children to remember their last name and address for a 999 call in case of an emergency. Find a meeting point outside the house for all family members to meet. This will not only reduce anxiety for the family, as everyone will know the plan in place for an emergency. Electrical appliances, electrical cords, and outlets are only some of the appliances that could cause a fire if not in good condition. It is important to check regularly and to keep away from children and pets.

7.Water Safety

Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Never leave your child alone at a pool, beach or in a bath. If you have a swimming pool, it is important to lock it and fence it in. The number 1 cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, is mostly due to children falling into pools or being left alone in baths. Put any toys away from the pool area to reduce the chance of curiosity or temptation. Installing a cover that prevents access to the water is an easy way to implement a safer environment. Supervise when in or around water. Designating a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath or pool.

Learning basic swimming skills will improve the survival rate if a child/or person is a strong swimmer. However, careful supervision when a child is in the water, and pool fencing are still important and should not be looked past. Family members being trained in CPR is a great lifesaving tool to have. If an emergency occurred, each member is trained to react quickly and effectively in a life-threatening situation.

8.Washing Hands

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illnesses. To prevent you and your child from getting unwanted germs, wash your hands with soap and water or use a waterless alcohol-based rub. Handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhoea-related sicknesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu. Singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice (around 20 seconds) is the amount of time it should take to wash your hands. This will remove any dirt, viruses, and bacteria. Stopping them from spreading to other people and objects, which can spread illnesses easily. This simple act can help stop people from picking up infections and spreading them to others.

Taking these simple and easy measures for the welfare of your family can make the biggest difference. A consciousness for your surroundings, particularly at home, can enable a safer home environment and reduce the risk of an unintentional injury occurring.


Charlie Wright

Charlie has been with Airsweb for over a year. She had written articles with the interest of health & safety, environmental impacts and reporting software

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