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Sunday, 17 June, 2001, 23:26 GMT 00:26 UK
Child accident risk greatest at home
Children at home
Parents can reduce childhood accidents by making homes safer
Children are more likely to get injured in their home than they are to be kidnapped or catch meningitis, a charity has warned.

Sam Standing, aged 11, still carries the scars from an accident when he was just eight months old.

Sam, of Waltham Cross, East London, reached for a boiling kettle and sent scalding water cascading over him and badly burning his skin.

Accidents like Sam's happen each day in homes throughout the UK, but health experts say many could be prevented.

The charity Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) said most parents worried about their children being snatched by a stranger or contracting meningitis.


Some injuries can actually be very nasty, if you get a burn or a scar it can last for a life time

Amanda Pritchett, of CAPT

Risks at home

But they said that in reality one of the greatest risks to every child, particularly those in the younger age brackets, actually lies within their own home.

At the launch of its government-backed Child Safety Week, CAPT said more than two million children need hospital treatment after an accident - a million of these in their own homes.

By ensuring hot liquids are out of reach, stair gates are fitted, medicine slocked away in cupboards and children restrained in properly fitted car seats accidents can be dramatically reduced.

Amanda Pritchett, from CAPT, said parents need to ensure their homes are as safe as possible.

Protecting your child
Keep medicines and household chemicals locked away
Never leave babies unattended or on raised surfaces
Use properly fitted car restraints
Get children to wear cycle helmets and reflective strips when cycling

She said: "Parents have to take control within their own home.

"Some injuries can actually be very nasty, if you get a burn or a scar it can last for a life time."

Older children

Ms Pritchett said that as children grow the dangers to them change and that older children were more at risk from accidents involving cars and bikes.

In 1999, 2,802 children, aged between five to seven were taken to accident and emergency following a car smash; 2,987 were injured after accidents on their bikes.

By comparison only a handful of children in this age group were snatched by strangers.

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See also:

07 Feb 01 | UK
The child safety catch
06 Feb 01 | Health
Britain 'safe for children'
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