Are poisonous gifts under your tree this Christmas?

Itchy skin, vomiting, and rashes are some of the gifts small children could unwrap this Christmas, warns a local safety group.

And this is in addition to the range of hazards that appear around the home with button batteries from toys, hot ovens on all day, and boiling pots and pans all presenting a danger for under-fives at home.

Buy Wise Be Safe (BWBS) is encouraging adults to think twice before mistakes are made that could result in a young child being injured by launching a festive-themed campaign promoting safety around the home.

For 12 consecutive days from the 1st December, the group will highlight some of the potential dangers that could go unnoticed around the home – from old and unsafe Christmas lights, to advice about buying safe toys and not being tempted by cheaper fakes that can flood the market this time of year.

Some fakes on the market this year can have sickening consequences according to BWBS spokesman, Stuart Radnedge. He warns, “The must-have toys list, compiled by top retailers, lists a number of items that experts expect to be under the Christmas tree this year. One of these is slime creation kits.

“It’s no surprise that children like these products and the fact they can be customised, with glitter or different coloured beads, means they’ll appeal to a wider market. These products made in Europe will be made to current high safety standards.

“Imported items sold on the high street have been seized, tested, and found to contain excessive levels of boron – which can cause vomiting, rashes and skin irritation.”

But it’s not just toys that will be focused on in the #12DaysOfSafety campaign being promoted by BWBS, as general home safety messages are also needed during this busy time of year.

Each year in England approximately 55 children and young people die, 370,000 attend accident and emergency and 40,000 are admitted to hospital as an emergency as a result of injuries that happen around the home. 

By providing parents, carers and professionals with clear advice on buying choices and practical steps that can be taken to promote safety in the home, BWBS hopes to reduce these figures.

 “With many of these injuries occurring due to a lack of supervision, and Christmas being a time when adults are rushing around buying presents, decorating the home and more, the time and attention necessary to ensure children’s safety can be hard to come by,” said Stuart Radnedge.

“As part of the #12DaysOfSafety campaign, we aim to inform and educate adults to ensure the festive season is a time of happiness and joy. Maybe a child in the home at Christmas is a first for this year? Maybe you’ve never heard that electrical items, like lights, have a lifespan during which they are safe to use?”

“Utilising our advice, provided by leading safety experts from all over the South West, can help ensure you have a fun and safe time at home this Christmas.”

Visit www.buywisebesafe.org.uk for all the advice on #12DaysOfSafety and to gain other safety tips.

To follow the campaign on social media please visit www.facebook.com/buywisebesafe or www.twitter.com/buywisebesafe