A guide for parents and carers
In summer children start to explore the world outside their home. They can come across new dangers and we need to act to keep them safe.
Sheds, garages and storerooms
Your child may go into parts of the home that they didn't play in during the winter. Have you protected the chemicals you store outside?
There may be DIY materials like paint cleaners, oil for the car or antifreeze.
- Make sure that they are out of sight and high up.
- It's best to lock them away entirely, with a padlock on the door.
Gardens and Parks
Many chemicals that people use if they have a garden can harm a child if they swallow them. There may be weed killers or poisons for mice or slugs.
- Make sure that all these products are locked away well out of reach.
In summer children are more likely to find plants, mushrooms and berries that grow in the garden, the yard or the neighbourhood. Some plants may be poisonous and others may burn the mouth or irritate the skin.
- Watch young children at play outdoors as they may taste almost anything.
- Teach older children not to eat anything that grows outdoors without checking with you first.
This is especially important if there are some things about blackberries that are safe to eat - the children may become confused.
Chemicals and medicine in the home
- Always keep chemicals and medicines high up and out of sight.
- It's best to lock them up, for example in a cupboard with a child resistant catch.
- Remember to put them out of the way if you are called away when the products are in use, say if the phone goes when you are cleaning the toilet. Bittering agents
- Look for products containing bittering agents which make them taste extremely unpleasant. They can help to stop children drinking large amounts of toxic liquids.
IF YOUR CHILD SWALLOWS SOMETHING POISONOUS
- Check their mouth and lips. If there is burning, get to hospital right away. Otherwise give a drink of water in small sips.
- Find a sample of what they have taken.
- Telephone your doctor or local hospital for advice. Stings In summer wasps and bees are about and they can easily sting a child. - Teach your child to leave nests or hives well alone.
- Always pour out drinks; insects can crawl into open cans of fizzy drinks and then they may sting your child's mouth.
- Clear up a soon as children have eaten sticky foods like ice cream and wash their hands and faces.
- Use an insect net over a carrycot or pram.
If your child is stung
- Comfort the child.
- Take the sting out. Use tweezers if necessary.
- Cool the area with an ice pack or bicarbonate of soda.
- Get urgent help if a child is stung in the mouth (as swelling can stop breathing).
- Some people are allergic to stings. They may be wheezy, dizzy, very weak or unconscious, or develop red blotches on the skin. They need to get to hospital right away. Call an ambulance.