Families in Luton, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes 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 10th November 2022.
This follows the scheme’s success in twenty seven areas of the UK including Birmingham, Liverpool, King’s Lynn, Nottingham, Newcastle, Bradford, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire, and Northern Ireland where 500,000 families have been helped to prevent poisoning and eye injuries.
In Luton and Milton Keynes, accidental poisonings accounted for 45 emergency admissions for 0 – 4-year-olds in each area between 2018/19- 2020/21. Whilst in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire there were 40 emergency admissions for 0 – 4-year-olds between 2018/19- 2020/21.
As part of the campaign, a handy magnetic notepad featuring key safety advice will be handed out to thousands of families by health visitors and children’s centre staff.
Ashley Martin, 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 whilst 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.”
Vicky Head, Director of Public Health for Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Councils, said “We are very pleased to be supporting the roll out of the Take Action Today campaign across Bedford Borough. Raising parent’s awareness of the dangers in the home is something we all feel passionately about to avoid any child requiring a medical intervention which could have been avoided.”
Maggie Atkinson, Chair and Scrutineer for the Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Partnership added “We are pleased to support this important campaign to help reduce harm to children across Bedford Borough. Practitioners from children’s centres, early years and health attended the launch webinar and now have access to a range of resources which will help them to promote safety messages to parents and carers.”
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.
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.
Further information on the Take Action Today campaign can be found at www.rospa.com
For further information on the Luton Safe at Home Scheme (Child Injury Prevention) please see www.safeathomecip.org.uk
For more details about the UKCPI, visit www.ukcpi.org