Home safety campaign helps protect children in Oxfordshire

Posted by Charlotte Salter, on April 25, 2023.

Families in Oxfordshire are being urged by UKCPI and 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 in Oxfordshire on 25th April 2023.

This follows the scheme’s success in 34 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 Oxfordshire, accidental poisonings accounted for 155 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 the health visiting team in the local area.

“We hope that distributing the pads at our one-year development review alongside our other safety messaging really helps parents and carers and keeps the importance of ensuring children remain safe.”
Bethany Boddy, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

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.”

Bethany Boddy, Locality team leader for the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s health visiting service, said:

“Part of the health visiting role is to share advice on home safety at every contact with families and we are delighted to be partnering with RoSPA in this campaign.

“Reducing the risk to young children of accidental poisoning from household cleaning products is really important to Oxford Health. As children grow and develop and become more mobile, safety measures and requirements in the home change and our Oxfordshire health visiting service reinforces the safety message from birth right through to the 2 ½ year development reviews.

“We hope that distributing the pads at our one-year development review alongside our other safety messaging really helps parents and carers and keeps the importance of ensuring children remain safe.”

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 more details about the UKCPI, visit www.ukcpi.org

Contact the UKCPI on ukcpi@ukcpi.org or call 07843 199397.