Minimise Bank Holiday Bumps and Bruises

Minimise Bank Holiday Bumps and Bruises
With the bank holiday almost upon us, families up and down the UK are looking forward to the break and to spending time in the garden with the kids.

But according to new research many of us could find ourselves queuing in accident and emergency departments because our gardens are not childproof and we are failing to make basic safety checks on play equipment.

More than 79% of people surveyed will play host to other people's children in their gardens over the bank holiday, and yet two thirds admitted they will not supervise the children at all times. Sixty-two% of parents have not made their gardens childproof and two thirds of us will not check our outdoor play equipment is safe before allowing children to use it. About 300,000 people are hurt in their gardens each year seriously enough to go to hospital & 110,000 of them are children.

Carole Hewison, a national child safety expert, said: 'We want our children to enjoy their bank holiday and this does mean allowing them a certain amount of freedom, but it is vital that parents take precautionary measures to protect themselves and their children. A quarter of all people in the UK have not made any area of their home or garden childproof and the research has revealed that parents are not making basic checks on equipment before allowing children to use
children playing outside
it. A third of households will have trampolines, bouncy castles, paddling pools, swings and other play equipment in the garden over the weekend and, although they can be lots of fun for kids, they can be very dangerous if not properly maintained or if play isn't supervised.'

Children require a higher duty of care because they do not have an understanding of some of the dangers adults can watch out for, making them more vulnerable to injury generally. It is very important that adults properly supervise play when they invite children into their homes. Following some simple guidelines could prevent a huge number of accidents from occurring and help keep children safe.'

Guide to Bank Holiday Safety.

Toys and play equipment
A third of us will have play equipment such as trampolines, bouncy castles, swings, slides and multi-gyms in our gardens the bank holiday.
Bullet When using toys or equipment in the garden, always follow the manufacturer's guidelines and check thoroughly before each use.
Bullet Make sure items such as trampolines are placed on even grass and are not near to concrete, walls or fences. Trampolines injuries are increasing by 50 per cent year on year.
Bullet Ensure that you don't have too many children playing on the same piece of equipment.
Bullet Do not allow young children to use toys or equipment meant for an older child.

Ponds and Water
Almost half of those surveyed said they would have a paddling pool in their gardens. It can be a great way to keep children cool in the heat but care must be taken.
Bullet Supervise play in paddling pools at all times. A child can drown in as little as two inches of water. Eighty per cent of drowning incidents happen in someone else's garden. Don't assume that a friend's garden is safe until you have checked it yourself.
Bullet Clear paddling pools away, or tip upside down after use. If it rains overnight the paddling could become sufficiently full as to present a drowning risk by morning.
Bullet If young children are likely to be playing in your garden, make sure your garden pond is covered or securely sectioned off from the rest of your garden.

If the weather permits, almost 60 per cent of those surveyed said they would have a barbeque over the bank holiday.
Bullet Never leave children unsupervised around a lit BBQ
Bullet Make sure it has cooled down completely before allowing children near the BBQ the following day.
Bullet Make sure knives, tongs, cutlery and dishes are cleared away thoroughly and not left within reach of children

Garden sheds
We are a nation of garden lovers and 46 per cent of those surveyed said they would have a shed in their garden containing tools, paint and chemicals.
Bullet Make sure sheds are secure to stop children gaining access
Bullet Unless the shed is empty, do not allow children to use it as a den.
Bullet Place chemicals, paint and sharp tools on a high shelf so that it is out of reach.
Bullet Always clear away tools after gardening.

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