Day twelve advice for #12daysofsafety Christmas campaign

Sadly, today is the final day of our advice and we hope you have all found it useful! Around Christmas our statistics show that falls cause the most injuries. Supervising your young child wherever he or she may be would prevent these incidents and injuries from occurring, but our guidance below will also aim to help you achieve this.

  • If you are visiting family or friends, be sure to check their houses for any dangers that may cause injuries to your child. Look out for clutter, specifically around the stairs, and ask that rooms are well lit to avoid slips, trips and falls.
  • If your child is old enough to understand, educate them about what they can or can’t do around someone else’s home. Tell them the stairs are out of bounds and not to climb on, and jump off, furniture.
  • If you have smaller children, remember to not change them on elevated surfaces. Do not place them in a car seat or carrier on a table, as if it is knocked off in error this could injure your child.
  • Don’t be too afraid of getting down on your hands and knees and having a look around the home you are visiting to see things from your child’s perspective! This will help you understand any hidden dangers that may be around.
  • Above all, supervision is key! Different surroundings will likely make your child want to explore. With hot food possibly being made and maybe alcohol being consumed by you or others, the risk of injury increases. If people have had a drink or two, try to encourage them not to pick up or pass around your small child.

Above all, stay safe and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Buy Wise Be Safe.

Day eleven advice for #12daysofsafety Christmas campaign

About six weeks ago we warned about the dangers that can be installed around your home in the name of Halloween. The same advice can be applied to Christmas as shops stock various fancy dress options for young children and candles can be lit around the home – particularly as part of the Advent Wreath.

  • Before you purchase any fancy dress items, make sure you have read our Halloween advice here and watched our safety video that we shared on facebook.com/buywisebesafe With some children’s fancy dress costumes, it takes less than a moment to catch alight!
  • Never leave burning candles unattended, and make sure you have extinguished all that were lit before you go to bed. Never place candles under your tree or on it, or under other decorations.

With the amount of hot ovens, food, drinks, and other heat sources that are around the home during Christmas it can be a good idea to refresh your knowledge of burns treatment. In cases of emergency cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery in the area. Call for help. Dial 999. 111 or a local GP for advice. Finally cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy, dressing or cloth. Also make sure the person is kept warm.

Day nine advice for #12daysofsafety

In yesterday’s advice we warned about the dangers of buying counterfeit chargers and electrical devices, as these fakes are usually cheaper as they don’t have the expensive components that protect you and your home. But is there any danger in buying cheap, or faked, toys – like dolls of Elsa from Frozen?

Quite simply, don’t buy the cheaper versions. A study from trading standards officers, from all over the nation, involved the testing of dolls earlier this year. The tests found high levels of nasty chemicals that shouldn’t belong in children’s toys.

  • Cheap toys are not made to the same strict standards that official products from the movies/television shows are.
  • Respect the age limits placed on toys. They are there for a very good reason and have been tested by experts. A toy that says it is not for the use of anyone under the age of 3 could mean that small parts pose a threat to your child’s wellbeing if they were to swallow or choke on them. Supervision of your child is vital when playing with a new toy.
  • Beware of choking hazards to young children around your home at Christmas. This can be anything such as burst balloons, small toy parts and tree decorations.

 

Finally, when buying gifts for your children don’t be afraid of opening boxes to make sure there are no small parts that can be removed by them.

Day eight advice for #12daysofsafety Christmas campaign

Button batteries during this time of the year will be everywhere and in everything – or at least it may feel like that!

As demonstrated in the pictures we shared on our Buy Wise Be Safe Social media accounts here and here , these tiny cells of energy are extremely powerful and can be extremely dangerous if swallowed by your child. Young children learn by putting most things in their mouths that they get their little hands on.

One of these button batteries can cause serious interior burns to your child, as quickly as shows in the picture we posted – so our advice is DO NOT leave them lying around at Christmas, or any other time.

Other batteries and general electrical safety is the focus of our advice for today’s eighth day in the #12daysofsafety campaign.

  • Rechargable batteries – These items are great but need ventilation and can become dangerous if overcharged. Always use the correct charger that the device came with. The protective technology in mobile phone chargers may be weaker than that in the charger for your tablet – dispite it being made by the same manufacturer and the ends fitting in both mobile and tablet.
  • Do not be tempted to buy cheaper mobile chargers. Only use chargers sold by the same manuacturer as your device. A recent story on fake Apple chargers here states that 99% of fakes failed basic tests!
  • Don’t charge devices overnight. It’s tempting, but if a fault occured you wouldn’t be awake to know about it!
  • Use caution if buying anything from social media sites. A total of 60% of fake goods were purchased online through social media.
  • Discarding batteries once they get too hot during charging or start leaking – this is a sign that the cell has reached the end of its life.
  • Do not remove batteries from smoke alarms or other safety devices to then use in toys. Buy the batteries for the toys and make sure your family stays safe at Christmas

Finally, the poster below from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue contains a link for more advice from the fire service regarding electrical safety.

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Day six advice for #12daysofsafety Christmas campaign

So (maybe, hypothetically!) the tree is up and your home is now a winter wonderland with tinsel around the tree – but is your home safe for Santa? If you followed the weekend’s advice, you’ve made a start! But there’s still a week of advice and tips left in our #12daysofsafety campaign before you can really be ready for Christmas.

  • Did you know – novelty decorations are not meant to be used as toys. The young children in your home may find the temptation to play with them too much to resist. Consider using these types of decorations where young children can’t see or reach them. Better still, don’t use them at all as they don’t have to comply with the strict toy safety regulations which prevent needless injury. Never allow a young child in a room unattended or unsupervised during the festive period. There are plenty of choking risks around the home during Christmas, including tinsel, rope lights, garland and any tree decorations that a small child could put in their mouths.
  • Check out the video we shared yesterday on facebook.com/buywisebesafe about how you can stop a child from choking… in seconds. As our advice says here, when a child is choking it can be silent – with most cases of choking involving children under the age of 5.
  • We encouraged you to check the wiring of Christmas lights and decorative lights on the weekend when the decorations were unearthed from where they were stored. But when was your chimney last cleaned? It’s the perfect way of ensuring your home is safe from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – which is a silent killer. You can explain to your young children you’re getting the chimney clean for Santa’s arrival!

If the chimney is getting some attention, make sure you have tested your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well. You should be testing these alarms at least once a month, according to official advice from the Fire Brigade.

Buy Wise Be Safe launches 12 days of safety Christmas campaign

This time of year is widely recognised as the season for giving and thinking of others, with many children beginning their countdown to the big day by opening the first doors of the advent calendar.

But, in a time of excitement and joy, the safety-focused Buy Wise Be Safe (BWBS) group is encouraging adults to think twice before mistakes are made that could result in a young child being injured.

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 on buying safe toys and not being tempted by cheaper fakes that can flood the market this time of year.

Each year in England approximately 60 children and young people die, 450,000 attend accident and emergency and 40,000 are admitted to hospital as an emergency as a result of injuries that occur around the home.

By providing parents, carers and professionals with clear advice on buying choices and practical steps that can be taken 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 BWBS spokesman, 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 or our social media channels located at www.facebook.com/buywisebesafe or www.twitter.com/buywisebesafe for the #12daysofsafety campaign advice.

Warnings still being issued on hoverboards

They were on the Christmas wishlist of many children, and even adults, this year but warnings are still being issued by trading standards groups all across the UK about the potential hazards ‘hoverboards’ could be.

More than 17,000 self-balancing scooters – or ‘hoverboards’– have been examined at national entry points since 15 October due to safety concerns*. Of these, over 15,000 (or 88%) have been assessed as unsafe and have been detained at the border. Officers at UK ports and borders witnesses a huge spike in the number of these items arriving on UK shores, destined to end up as gifts under the tree at Christmas.
However, the ‘must-have’ on Christmas lists this year were flagged by Trading Standards as potentially unsafe gifts due to a range of concerns, such as safety issues with the plug, cabling, charger, battery or the cut-off switch within the board, which often fails. Many of the items detained around the country and sent for testing have been found to have noncompliant plugs without fuses, which increases the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire. Products that have been tested have failed with significant safety issues and over 15,000 products detained have identical or very similar features to those already deemed as unsafe.
With such large numbers being sent for testing since October many testing houses are full to capacity and additional staff training is underway to help meet the demand. In recent months these faults have caused extensive damage to people’s property and National Trading Standards – in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute – is urging consumers to be vigilant this Christmas and avoid putting households at risk with unsafe products.
Speaking earlier in December, Lord Toby Harris, Chair, National Trading Standards, said: “Our teams at sea ports, postal hubs and airports have seen a significant spike in the number of unsafe ‘hoverboards’ arriving at national entry points in recent weeks and are working around-the-clock to prevent dangerous items from entering the supply chain. Protecting consumers from harm is our top priority and our Safety at Ports and Borders teams are preventing thousands of these unsafe items from being released onto the market every day.”
“We suspect that most of these products are being imported for onward sale domestically as Christmas approaches – we urge consumers to be on their guard when purchasing these products and advise you read our product safety checklist to help ensure you are not purchasing a dangerous item.”
“If you do suspect any sellers, websites or products of being unsafe we urge you to report them to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”

Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang