MIL-OSI United Kingdom: Help prevent accidents at home

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Source: Northern Ireland Direct

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It’s Child Safety Week. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of accidents in the home. Accidents can be prevented by being aware of the dangers and hazards.

Check for hazards and risks

There are risks are all around at home. Take a look around your home and check for any potential areas of danger not just for children, but anyone in the house.  

You should:

  • check for potential choking hazards for young children
  • put small toys and button batteries that could cause choking or be potentially fatal if swallowed out of the reach of children
  • make sure food is cut up into small pieces
  • examine every blind in your home – if they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted, then you can easily install one of the many devices available
  • make sure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children
  • move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb
  • check that televisions, chests of drawers and shelving units are securely anchored to the wall, as bulky, heavy furniture can seriously injure or even kill a small child if it falls on top of them
  • keep children away from hazardous heat sources in the kitchen, for example, warm oven fronts, hot liquids, and make sure pot handles cannot be reached
  • test the temperature of bath water using your elbow before you put your baby or toddler in the bath and never leave a child unattended
  • make sure household cleaners and medicines are out of the sight and reach of children (in a locked or high-level cupboard) to avoid accidental poisoning or chemical burns – clean up any spills
  • make sure items such as nappy sacks and so on that could cause choking and/ or suffocation are put away out of reach of children
  • always supervise children when they are playing in the garden, on trampolines and climbing frames, and be aware of the dangers associated with open ponds and pools
  • empty the paddling pool after use
  • be alert to drowning risks when you visit friends and family

You should also:

  • test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • when doing DIY, avoid falls from height by checking a ladder’s condition before use and always supervise children, especially when power tools and lawnmowers are being used
  • tidy up all DIY equipment straight after the job is done
  • secure any loose-fitting rugs to avoid trips and falls
  • make sure you think safety when around dogs

There is further useful information and advice on the pages below:


Falls are by far the most common accidents, accounting for almost half of all injuries or deaths in the home.

You can get advice at the following links:

Don’t leave it until it is too late – taking simple steps to make your home safer for every family member is the best way to help prevent accidents.

More useful links

MIL OSI United Kingdom