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UKCPI joins RoSPA to launch campaign to protect children

Thursday, March 10, 2016

UKCPI director general Philip Malpass travelled to the historic city of Winchester today to launch a campaign to help parents protect their children from the risks of household cleaning products.

UKCPI director general Philip Malpass (right) was joined by, from left, RoSPA chief executive Tom Mullarkey, Liz Taylor from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, and Sheila Merrill from RoSPA at the Hampshire launch of Take Action Today in Winchester on March 10.

The Take Action Today campaign is being launched across Hampshire, because 120 under-fives attended A&E across Hampshire in 2014-15 as a result of accidental poisoning. This includes cases involving household cleaning products.

Mr Malpass was joined by representatives from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

He 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. While the severity of the injuries is generally low, we hope this campaign will remind parents to follow the usage instructions on the packaging and, in so doing, avoid unnecessary accidents.”

Take Action Today brings together the industry expertise of UKCPI and the experience of RoSPA with the local organisation of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which provides community health services for people across the south of England.

Southern Health will distribute a magnetic notepad featuring key safety advice to at least 40,000 families via public health nurses, health visitors, children’s centres and parent and toddler groups.

Liz Taylor, associate director of nursing for the Children and Families Services at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have been working closely with parents at all contacts of the Healthy Child Programme, and in particular one and two-year child health reviews to explore prevention of accidents, such as locking away hazardous substances such as batteries or dishwasher tablets.

“We have received great feedback from parents who have said they have changed safety practices within the home after a contact with their health visiting team.”

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.”

Take Action Today is part of RoSPA’s annual Family Safety Week, which this year focuses on raising awareness of risks to children aged under five years old.

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