Families in Stockton-on-Tees 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 on Tuesday, February 27 at 11am at Stockton Central Library, Church Rd, Stockton-on-Tees.
This follows the scheme’s success in Birmingham, Liverpool, King’s Lynn, Nottingham, Newcastle and Bradford, Lincolnshire and Northern Ireland, where 300,000 families have been helped to prevent poisoning and eye injuries.
Poisoning is one of the five most common reasons for hospital admissions for children in Stockton-on-Tees. During 2011-2015 there were 100 admissions to hospital for children aged under-5 as a result of accidental poisoning. This number is higher than the average for England and for the North East region. These more serious cases represent the tip of the iceberg. Many more will have required treatment at accident and emergency departments or other services.
As part of the campaign, a handy magnetic notepad featuring key safety advice will be handed out to at least 6,000 families by public health nurses, health visitors, children’s centres and parent and toddler groups. After the launch other activities will be taking place across the area to highlight the issue.
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.”
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.”
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