Lincolnshire children protected from cleaning product injuries in RoSPA campaign

Families in Lincolnshire are being urged by the Royal Society for the Prevention Accidents (RoSPA) to take action to protect their children from the risks of household cleaning products.

The latest phase of the Take Action Today, Put Them Away campaign, funded by the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association (UKCPI), is being launched on Wednesday (July 5) at Central Children’s Centre, Lincoln.

This follows the scheme’s success in Birmingham, Liverpool, King’s Lynn, Nottingham, Newcastle and Bradford, where 240,000 families have been helped to prevent poisoning and eye injuries.

Across Lincolnshire, an average of about 240 children under-5 were admitted to hospital as a result of poisoning between 2011-15. This is higher than the average for England and the second highest figure in the East Midlands region. These more serious cases represent the tip of the iceberg. Many more will have required treatment at accident and emergency departments or other services. Under-5s account for more than three-quarters of admissions for poisonings to under 14s, and 60 per cent of these are aged between 2-4.

As part of the campaign, a handy magnetic notepad featuring key safety advice will be handed out to at least 40,000 families by home safety officers, public health nurses, health visitors, children’s centres and parent and toddler groups.

Sheila Merrill, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “The notepad acts as a constant reminder in family kitchens to store cleaning products out of reach, out of sight and in a locked cupboard.

“Due to their inquisitive nature, children under the age of five are most at risk of accidentally swallowing or getting household cleaning products, like liquid laundry capsules, into their eyes. Even products with a child-resistant closure cannot guarantee safety – they only reduce the risk by delaying access to the product.”

Philip Malpass, from the industry’s trade body, the UKCPI, said: “Cleaning products are designed to be safe to use and to provide the clean and hygienic home we often take for granted today. The accidents we see involving young children and cleaning products are avoidable and while the severity of the injuries are generally low, we hope that this campaign will remind parents to follow the usage instructions on the packaging, and in so doing, avoid unnecessary accidents.”

Gina Blundell, accident prevention pathway lead for Lincolnshire Community Health Services, said: “We cannot underestimate the damage that can be done to young children from poisons in the home, which can include rashes, chemical burns, breathing problems, and eye damage. Lincolnshire Community Health Services and Lincolnshire County Council have teamed up with RoSPA to remind families of some simple rules to prevent these injuries, including keeping household cleaning products and medications out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard. Parents often report being taken by surprise by their child’s development so we advise taking safety measures as soon as possible and before your child starts to crawl.

“Also supervision of children is vital, and so try to avoid being distracted by mobile phones, especially when using cleaning products or any other toxic chemicals.”

Take action today, put them away advice to parents includes:

·         Store household cleaning products out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard

·         Always store chemicals in their original containers

·         Never pierce or break laundry capsules or tablets

·         Always close the lid of any product

·         In the event of an incident, follow advice on the product pack and seek medical attention.

 

Further information on the Take Action Today campaign can be found at www.rospa.com. For more details about the UKCPI, visit www.ukcpi.org.

 

Notes to Editors

 

The launch event is taking place between 11am and noon at Central Children’s Centre, Lincoln, with short talks from Sheila Merrill, Philip Malpass, and Gina Blundell.

 

UKCPI is the leading trade association representing UK producers of cleaning and hygiene products from household soaps, washing powders, liquids, disinfectants, air care and polishes to the professional cleaning and hygiene products used in industrial and institutional applications.

 

It provides advice and guidance to manufacturers, distributors and users of cleaning and hygiene products. UKCPI also works in partnership with policymakers, the public and the media, to inform public discussions about cleanliness, hygiene and sustainable cleaning.