Don’t Ignore Youngsters is the DIY message from the
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) during the holiday
The Easter break
is traditionally a time for families to work on home improvement and gardening
projects at home with young helpers in tow.
But RoSPA is reminding parents and carers to always
supervise children, especially when power tools and lawnmowers are being used.
It is also important to tidy up all equipment straight after the job is
There were 407
children (aged under-15) admitted to hospital after accidents involving
non-powered and powered hand tools, electric lawnmowers and other household
machinery, according to latest annual NHS figures for
RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “The Easter
holiday is a wonderful time for families to spend together and often when they
start to do some home improvement or gardening. It is also, unfortunately, a
time when A&Es usually see a rise in DIY and
nothing better than to be a little helper, copying adults’ every move. So it is
important to remember when starting a project at home that children should be
kept away from where you are working as they are fascinated by tools like
drills, hammers, mowers and other gadgets.
occur when a task has been finished but the tools haven’t been tidied away.
Also, prepare well, make sure you have the knowledge to tackle the task in hand
and don’t rush things as that is when accidents are more likely to
It is estimated
that more than 200,000 people go to A&E in the UK each year after being
injured doing DIY, maintenance or gardening at home.
There were 4,313
people injured after accidents involving contact with non-powered hand tools in
2011/12. A further 422 people were admitted to hospital with injuries from using
powered lawnmowers, and 3,461 people injured after using other powered hand
tools and household machinery. Some of these accidents will have happened at
work but many of them will have happened at home.
RoSPA’s DIY and
gardening safety tips include:
Keep children and
pets away from where you are working
Keep products in
their original containers; keep all tools, paint and chemicals out of the reach
of children; and, tidy up at the end of your task
Stop and disconnect
all electrical appliances and tools before repairing or cleaning them; only use
tools/materials/products in accordance with their
When working with
power tools, use an RCD (residual current device) if your home is not already
wired with one
Avoid falls from
height by checking a ladder’s condition before use
Only use a competent,
qualified person to carry out gas and electrical renewal or repair work. Anyone
carrying out domestic and commercial gas work across the UK must be registered
through the Gas Safe
See www.rospa.com/homesafety/ for more
home and garden safety advice from RoSPA.
* Figures from
Episode Statistics (NHS Information Centre).