Southern Trust Supports Child Safety Week
16/06/2014The Southern Trust is supporting Child Safety Week (23-29 June 2014) by hosting a workshop focusing on childhood poisoning accidents. The workshop, designed for staff, local childcare groups, community based and early years organisations has been funded by the Public Health Agency and will be delivered by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Most accidental poisoning happens to children younger than five years old, with children aged one to three years being most at risk. On average 15 under-fives are admitted to hospital each day due to suspected poisoning. Unfortunately children from the poorest families are three times more likely to be admitted to hospital due to an accident, including accidental poisoning.
Earlier this year the Trust responded to new poisoning trends associated with liquitabs (liquid tablet detergents used in washing machines and dishwashers) and a new leaflet was developed ‘Liquitab what is the risk, who is at risk’ (download from www.southerntrust.hscni.net – healthy living – accident prevention). Another emerging trend in childhood poisoning has come from the rising popularity of e-cigarettes – the nicotine refills which are brightly coloured and smell like fruit are very hazardous to children yet many parents are unaware of this danger. Most poisoning accidents are caused by medicines and household chemicals.
Nina Daly, Accident Prevention Officer, Southern Trust said: “Our workshop will examine new trends in accidental poisoning cases affecting children, focusing on the most common items/substances to cause poisoning accidents in and around the home. The session will explain what measures can be taken at home to reduce poisoning. It will provide information on the first aid steps to follow if a parent or carer suspects a child has consumed or been exposed to something poisonous and where to seek medical help. Part of the workshop will also include a timely reminder about carbon monoxide poisoning as we approach holiday and BBQ season.”
Gerard Rocks, Acting Assistant Director for Promoting Wellbeing said: “It is important that parents or anyone who looks after young children take steps to prevent accidental poisoning in the home. Young children are particularly vulnerable to poisoning as they learn by putting things in their mouth. Their lack of awareness about dangers in the home - what is safe to eat or touch and what is dangerous - leads to many accidents. For this reason adults must be kept aware of recent trends and the steps they should take to protect children. Through this workshop the Trust is not only providing information to raise awareness of poisoning accidents but will also be making available free cupboard locks to help parents put dangerous substances out of sight and out of reach from their children.”