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Home accidents: The UK’s hidden household dangers

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From hot hobs and sharp counter edges to electrical sockets and loose wires, your house is full of potential dangers for children. In fact, according to a new report by The Compensation Experts, an astonishing 67,135 children were admitted to hospital in 2020 due to injuries sustained at home.

Reading on, we reveal the safety features UK parents most commonly neglect, the most dangerous rooms in the house for children, and our top tips for keeping kids safe.

Uncovering the most common household accidents

Children are inquisitive, crafty, and playful, so it’s only natural that they find themselves in risky situations, especially when left to their own devices. To avoid catastrophe, it’s important to put basic protective measures in place to prevent your children from hurting themselves. However, after questioning 1,000 UK parents about their protective habits, it’s clear that not all mums and dads get around to installing the appropriate equipment.

For example, as many as half of parents have never positioned a safeguard over a hot hob to protect little one from burning their fingers, while over four-in-ten (42%) have never installed corner guards. Unfortunately, these measures should, perhaps, be treated with a little more gravitas, as, in 2020, a reported 16% of children suffered serious burns and 27% experienced bumped heads off table edges.

Staggeringly, a further 41% of parents claim to have disregarded the danger of open cupboards and drawers, which led to 13% of children consuming a dangerous detergent pod in 2020. Similarly, 40% of UK parents actively ignore notoriously hazardous plug sockets, even though 13% of children injure themselves annually while meddling with live electrics.

Finally, children can be clumsy, so it should come as no surprise that 33% and 23% of youngsters, respectively, tumbled down the stairs or fell out of their crib, on at least one occasion in 2020. However, with just 37% of mums and dads committed to installing stair gates and only 34% putting up protective bed barriers, there’s plenty of room for parents to be doing much more to keep their children safer.

Revealed: the most dangerous rooms in the house

Despite often being designed for comfortable lounging, UK parents have named the living room as the most dangerous room in the house; perhaps surprisingly, a startling 42% of children experienced injury here in 2020. Heading outside, the garden also poses danger for unsupervised children, with over a third more (37%) hurting themselves while playing.

Positioned as the third most dangerous area of the house for unsuspecting youngsters, the bedroom saw a third (32%) of children hurt themselves through banging, falling, or tripping in 2020. Meanwhile, sharp corner edges and swinging cupboard doors in the kitchen are responsible for 30% of children heading to the hospital through household injury.

At the other end of the table, hallways (24%), bathrooms (21%), and garages (13%) are considered to be among the least dangerous areas of the house, according to parents, with each responsible for sending less than a quarter of unwary children to A&E in 2020.

Injury prevention top tips

A lot of accidents in the home can easily be avoided, by taking suitable precautions. We’ve outlined our top five injury prevention tips to keep your children safe.

1. Cupboard safety locks

These inexpensive plastic locks will prevent children from opening cupboards and trapping their fingers. These locks also stop children from accessing anything dangerous when you’re not around to keep an eye out.

2. Hob safeguard

Place childproof covers on oven hobs and stoves to prevent nasty burns. Similarly, if you’re cooking on the hob, make sure all handles are facing away from the front to avoid curious children from tipping over a bubbling pan.

3. Electric plug sockets guard

Keep all cables out of reach and insert plastic socket covers to prevent your child from touching electrical outlets.

4. Rubber corner guard

Work surface and table corner points are often head height for an inquisitive youngster. To prevent head bumps and eye injuries, childproof all sharp corner edges with rubber corner guards.

5. Baby gate

Installing baby gates is an efficient way of stopping children from wandering into a room on their own. Having a baby gate allows you to rest easy, knowing your child is safe and out of harm’s way.

Keeping children safe from household danger can be difficult, especially if you’re working throughout the day, but hopefully you’ve picked up a few helpful tips for preventing home-based injuries. For even more expert advice and interesting insight, explore the latest news on our blog.