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Household accidents

Keeping your child safe in and around the home


For babies the biggest danger is rolling off the edge of a bed, or changing surface. For toddlers it is more about falling from furniture or down stairs.


Make sure baby cannot roll off any surfaces, put pillows around them. Do not put a bouncing cradle or car seat on a surface where they could wriggle off.

Use stair gates for toddlers. Make sure balconies are locked and fit restrictors and safety locks to windows.


If your child has a serious fall dial 999.


Babies and toddlers can easily swallow, inhale or choke on small items like balloons, peanuts, buttons or plastic toy pieces or strings or cords.


Check on the floor and under furniture for small items. Find out more about CPR (a first aid technique that is a combination of rescue breaths and chest compressions. Sometimes called the ‘kiss of life’).


If your child is choking act immediately and calmly. Make sure you do not push the object further down the throat. Encourage your child to cough. Use back blows, if they become unconscious call for help (do not leave your child alone) and start CPR.

Head injury

One of the signs of a severe head injury is being unusually sleepy, this does not mean you cannot let your child sleep.

You need to get medical attention if:

If they are tired from what’s happened, or from crying, then it is fine to let them sleep. If you are worried in any way about their drowsiness, then you should wake your child an hour after they go to sleep.


Check that they are okay, and that they are responding normally throughout the night.


Glass causes serious cuts with many children ending up in A&E.


Do not leave drinking glasses on the floor. Make sure glass bottles are up high.


If the cut is not serious bathe the area, make sure there is no glass left and cover with a clean non-fluffy cloth.

If the cut is serious, is bleeding a lot or has a piece of glass under the skin (maybe they trod on some glass) go to A&E.


Many children drown, often in very shallow water. It happens in the bath, in garden ponds, paddling pools and water butts.


Supervise children near water at all times. Use a grille on ponds and fill in a garden pond to use as a sand pit. Learn to swim. Do not leave unattended with a young sibling.


Get your child out of the water. Try to get them to cough up any water. If they are not responding call 999.


Poisoning from medicines, household products and cosmetics are common.


Lock all chemicals, medicines and cleaning products away.


Find out what your child has swallowed and take it with you to A&E.


Window blind cords and chains can pose a risk for babies and children who could injure or even strangle themselves on the hanging looped cords.



Untangle child, contact the emergency services and start CPR (see how to resuscitate).

Source: RoSPA