As it’s Child Safety Week (23rd – 29th June), we’ve been on a quest to see just how safe people’s homes are. We surveyed adults from across the UK to see whether there are any patterns in our attitudes to safety, and whether we can improve when it comes to creating a safe environment, for both ourselves and our children.
So, what did we find out?
Our respondents mainly consisted of parents of young children, with 76% of our respondents having a child under the age of 5 and, whilst many respondents did have safety equipment, many of them were not using it. For example, 53% had a stair gate, but 6% of respondents didn’t use it.
This was the same for plug covers, with 9% of respondents owning plug covers but not reaping the safety benefits from them. This leaves us wondering whether it’s our increasingly busy day-to-day lives that stop us from using the safety equipment we have chosen to invest in, or perhaps just complacency.
Having said that, there were some areas in which people showed due diligence when it came to child safety around the house. When people were asked where they stored their medicines, most people answered that their medicines were kept high up and out of the reach of children (58%) while 10% kept them under lock and key. The majority were also sensible when storing plastic bags, with 32% keeping them in a cupboard and 24% keeping them somewhere else out of reach.
People weren’t so careful when storing their cleaning products however, with the majority leaving them in low cupboards within reach of children (53%).
The fact that only 29% of people locked their cleaning products away raises some important questions about whether people even see cleaning products as hazardous materials. It might simply suggest that people don’t think it’s a problem that would affect them, but with poisoning being most common in children under five, this is a real risk for many of our respondents. In fact, over 28,000 children in the UK receive treatment for poisoning or suspected poisoning, and this is most frequently caused by household products such as bleach.
Worryingly, there were some things that people didn’t seem to perceive as hazards at all. Things like exposed wires across the floor and protruding pan handles were largely overlooked, and the majority of respondents (54%) reported doing nothing to protect their children from the sharp edges on furniture.
The figures around fire-related hazards also made for some difficult reading. Only 10% checked their smoke alarms once a week (as recommended) and most people kept matches and lighters in a drawer – perhaps not taking into account the risk of burns or fire when in the hands of small children. The risk here, however, is very real; around 3,750 children in England and Wales are rushed to hospital each year due to burn and scald injuries – a figure that really puts things into perspective for those that leave flammable products lying around.
Although Child Safety Week can be a great way to raise awareness and encourage people to be more considerate of everyday dangers, an overwhelming 73% of people had never heard of Child Safety Week. So why not help to spread the word among family and friends? You could even further your own knowledge by checking out our ‘Top Tips for Betta Child Safety’.
Photo by OakleyOriginals / Copyright