Children in York protected from cleaning product injuries in RoSPA campaign

Families in York are being urged by the Royal Society for the Prevention Accidents (RoSPA) to take action to protect children from the risks of household cleaning products.

The latest phase of the Take Action Today, Put Them Away campaign, funded by the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association (UKCPI), is being launched this week on Thursday August 3 in York.

This follows the scheme’s success in 21 areas of the UK including Birmingham, Liverpool, King’s Lynn, Nottingham, Newcastle, Bradford, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire and Northern Ireland where 400,000 families have been helped to prevent poisoning and eye injuries.

In York, accidental poisonings accounted for 55 emergency admissions for 0 – 4 year olds between 2017/18- 2019/20.

As part of the campaign, a handy magnetic notepad featuring key safety advice will be handed out to families by health visitors.

Ashley Martin, RoSPA’s public health adviser, said: “The notepad acts as a constant reminder in family kitchens to store cleaning products out of reach, out of sight and in a locked cupboard.

“Due to their inquisitive nature, children under the age of five are most at risk of accidentally swallowing or getting household cleaning products, like liquid laundry capsules, into their eyes. Even products with a child-resistant closure cannot guarantee safety – they only reduce the risk by delaying access to the product.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Having a child accidentally swallow a poisonous household chemical must be every parent and carer’s worst nightmare.

Fortunately, there are some straightforward things that anyone who is looking after children – whether they’re parents, grandparents, family friends, etc. – can do, including storing products out of reach or in locked cupboards. I’d urge anyone who regularly has a child or children in their house to consider what they can do to make sure their household products are as safe as possible.”

Philip Malpass, from the industry’s trade body, the UKCPI, said: “Cleaning products are designed to be safe to use and to provide the clean and hygienic home we often take for granted today. The accidents we see involving young children and cleaning products are avoidable and whilst the severity of the injuries are generally low, we hope that this campaign will remind parents to follow the usage instructions on the packaging, and in so doing, avoid unnecessary accidents.”

Take action today, put them away advice to parents includes:

 Store household cleaning products out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard
• Always store chemicals in their original containers
• Never pierce or break laundry capsules or tablets
• Always close the lid of any product
• In the event of an incident, follow advice on the product pack and seek medical attention.

UKCPI is the leading trade association representing UK producers of cleaning and hygiene products from household soaps, washing powders, liquids, disinfectants, air care and polishes to the professional cleaning and hygiene products used in industrial and institutional applications.

It provides advice and guidance to manufacturers, distributors and users of cleaning and hygiene products. UKCPI also works in partnership with policymakers, the public and the media, to inform public discussions about cleanliness, hygiene and sustainable cleaning.

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