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Keeping your children safe over the Easter holidays

View profile for Pauline Smith
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Keeping your children safe over the Easter holidays

The Easter holidays are approaching, and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have launched a campaign, which focuses on pedestrian safety. Their Family Safety Week runs from the 1st to 7th April 2019, and with the school holidays, and hopefully warm spring weather looming, parents will be looking at various ways to entertain their children over the next few weeks.

Play areas, playgrounds and trampoline parks are always a popular choice, along with swimming activities and maybe a trip to the coast. However, in order to enjoy these activities safely, parents should be aware of some basic information, which will ensure that everyone enjoys a great day out.

Playground equipment is regulated by British Standard EN1176 and if you are going to a park that you are unfamiliar with, before letting your children loose, please take a moment to check the equipment. Does it appear to be rusty? Is the surface underneath the equipment soft enough to cushion a fall? Are there any pieces of metal or any nails protruding? These simple checks could prevent a trip to A & E, and the subsequent distress that an injury could cause.

Trampoline parks are gaining in popularity, and are a great way for children to get exercise and let off steam. Check that the trampoline park is reputable (you can find reviews for most indoor play areas and trampoline parks online), and that there are sufficient staff watching for dangerous practices, or misbehaviour.  Similarly, does the trampoline park have easily identifiable rules and regulations for safe play, and is there accident prevention material on display?

School holidays mean that children have more freedom and older children especially, may want an independent, “parent free” day out. If your child intends to visit an area with inland water, such as a lake or river, then please ensure that they know not to venture into the water, no matter how tempting this might be on a hot day. Around 400 deaths a year occur in the UK as a result of drowning, with two thirds of those deaths happening at inland water locations. Whilst “tombstoning” into a cool lake may sound like great fun, the reality is that the water is incredibly cold, and could be full of hidden hazards. It’s simply not worth the risk. Even home ponds can create serious drowning risks, and some sensible precautions will prevent accidents from occurring:

  1. Fit a pond alarm, and always site your pond within view of the house
  2. Put safety netting over the top of the pond, or even some form of fencing around it
  3. Ensure that the pond has shallow edges, so that it’s easy to climb out of
  4. Never allow small children to play near a pond, unsupervised

Whilst not wanting to be a killjoy, and to curtail family fun, Stephensons have dealt with claims arising from each and every one of these scenarios. RoSPA have introduced many easily accessible leaflets for parents, to ensure that their children are safe around the home, and whilst at play, as well as their sterling work in campaigning for more stringent health and safety legislation. If you wish to know more please visit their website.