Child Safety Week: Child safety threatened by exhausted parents

Child Safety Week: Child safety threatened by exhausted parents

New research shows that tired and stressed out mums and dads have no time to prevent accidents. Experts at the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) have revealed  alarming statistics highlighting  the demands and pressure parents are facing due to the economic downturn. Worryingly 4 in 10 parents (41%) say they don’t have time to even think about preventing their children having serious accidents.


Being too tired and exhausted to think about your child’s safety can have horrific impacts as  pointed out by Katrina Phillips, CAPT’s Chief Executive: “(Parents are) exhausted, stressed and struggling to keep their heads above water. Child safety feels like one more thing to add to an already impossible to-do list…parents need advice on easy ways to prevent serious accidents, so they can stay on top of safety despite all the competing pressures they face”


Michelle Hine, 30, from Hartlepool, talks of the pressures she faced;


 “I had the opportunity to take on more work and rushed at the chance because we needed more money coming in, as we were struggling with my husband’s wage alone. I was stressed at work and rushing around to get the kids to school and childminders and my older son (7) had reached up and opened the door. My two year old had gotten himself out and was wandering around the pavement by the road on his own. It was 6 or 7 minutes before I realised he was missing. Thankfully he was fine and was looking for bugs and stayed near the grass verge but I still think about what could have happened as he is not road aware. We have since installed a safety catch high on the door so it can’t be opened from the inside”


So, how easy is it for parents to make sure their children are protected and safe within the home. When research by CAPT showed that 7 in 10 parents (69%) are exhausted by the end of the day,  it might seem that it is an added pressure and also a financial pressure to make your home safe and secure but actually there can be very easy ways to make sure your home is as safe as it can be. In conjunction with Child Safety Week (18-24 June, 2012) the Child Accident Prevention Trust has put together a few pointers for busy parents;


-making sure a cup of tea’s out of reach

-blind cords are tied up

-medicines and cleaning products are stored safely out of reach

-the baby is secured in the highchair

-checking your smoke alarm works

-checking behind the car before reversing out of the drive,

-teaching children road safety as they walk to school

-putting your hair straighteners away when you’re finished with them

-installing safety catches on the doors and making sure they are placed high up


Seemingly simple things, that make a huge difference if followed within the home. The Child Safety Week campaign hopes to highlight  an awareness of issues of child safety. Hopefully parents will feel they can take more of an active role about the safety of their children with a few handy tips for around the house. Click here to download the simple and free ideas booklet provided by the CAPT to give parents an idea of what they do, such as; getting down to the kids level to see how the world looks from their height, and whether there are exposed wires, plug sockets or anything dangerous on their level.


The aim of Child Safety Week is to secure a safer environment for children of all ages, so they can live life to the fullest without unnecessary hazards. By taking small steps to prevent accidents, family life can ressume as parents fit safety measures around their lives, however busy they are.


Look at our Gurgle interview with Henrietta Bond, CAPT's child safety family support co-ordinator. We ask her all the questions mums and dads want to know.


For more information about Child Safety Week, go to the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), or to comment on this article, please see below.



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