Nottingham families are being urged to take action to protect their children from the risks of household cleaning products in a new initiative.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) campaign Take action today, put them away, funded by the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association (UKCPI), is being launched today, Tuesday, June 30, at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
It follows the scheme’s resounding success in Birmingham, Liverpool, King’s Lynn and Bradford where 200,000 families have been helped to prevent poisoning and eye injuries.
RoSPA is now focusing on Nottingham as data shows 390 children under the age of five attended A&E in 2014 as a result of accidental poisoning, which includes cases involving household cleaning products. Of these cases, a third of children were in the kitchen at the time of the incident, according to Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
As part of the campaign, a handy magnetic notepad featuring key safety advice will be handed out to at least 40,000 families across the city and its surrounding areas through Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, health visitors, Nottingham City Council’s children’s centres and local parent and toddler groups.
Ashley Martin, RoSPA’s public health project manager, 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.”
Dr Elizabeth Saunders, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Nottingham’s Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre, said: “We welcome RoSPA's awareness and prevention campaign. Parents need to make sure to keep hazardous substances and tablets locked away and out of reach, as well ensuring young children are attended at all times.”
Cllr Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Public Health at Nottingham City Council, said: “Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County launched a joint strategy to reduce avoidable injuries in children last year and we are committed to working with our partners to bring down the number of injuries sustained by children.
“Small children have no concept of what’s harmful, and parents underestimate their child’s mobility and how far their baby or toddler can reach. It can be fairly easy for young children to get hold of something that’s harmful and they usually put it in their mouth. Because of this, we need to be extra vigilant and remember to Take Action Today.”
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 policy makers, the public and the media, to inform public discussions about cleanliness, hygiene and sustainable cleaning.