Devon families to be given advice on protecting children from household cleaning products

Devon’s health visiting teams will be handing out free magnetic notepads carrying safety advice this September to help families ensure that young children and toddlers are kept safe in the home.

The notepads feature key safety advice and will serve as a helpful reminder to thousands of busy families. The notepads are part of the Take Action Today, Put Them Away home safety campaign.

The campaign is a partnership between the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association (UKCPI), the Royal Society for the Prevention Accidents (RoSPA), and local County Councils.

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.

In Devon accidental poisonings accounted for 185 emergency admissions for 0 – four-year-olds between 2016/17- 2018/19.

The scheme has been rolled out in areas including Birmingham, Liverpool, King’s Lynn, Nottingham, Newcastle, Bradford, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire, and Northern Ireland where 400,000 families have been helped to prevent poisoning and eye injuries.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities and Equality, said: “Devon County Council and Public Health Nursing services really welcomes the opportunity to support this national campaign here in Devon.

“We recognise that this project will support families to remind them that everyday cleaning products pose a risk to their children within their own homes and by raising the profile of these risks, will help us all to prevent accidents and protect children.”

Philip Malpass, Director General of 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.”

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.”

Contact the UKCPI on ukcpi@ukcpi.org or call 01829 770055.