Families in Coventry are being urged by 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 today at Moathouse Leisure Centre in Coventry.
This follows the scheme’s success in twelve areas of the UK including Birmingham, Liverpool, King’s Lynn, Nottingham, Newcastle, Bradford, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire and Northern Ireland where over 300,000 families have been helped to prevent poisoning and eye injuries.
Across Coventry, hospital admissions for accidental poisoning for under-fives are significantly higher than the England average.
As part of the campaign, a handy magnetic notepad featuring key safety advice will be handed out to thousands of families by health visitors and children’s centre staff.
Ashley Martin, RoSPA’s acting 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.”
Kate Hawkins, clinical lead for Radford health visiting team, said: “This initiative is part of a new multi-agency approach across Coventry, which is looking at providing families and communities with information to prevent childhood accidents. Accident prevention is high on the agenda for the council, for the family health and lifestyles services, and for Public Health England. We hope that by working together we can have a positive impact. We are coordinating our focus by using an accident prevention calendar so that all partners are talking about the same topic at the same time and using shared resources. May’s focus is on accidental poisoning to tie in with this launch.”
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