Breakfast time rush puts children in danger, admit UK parents

Nearly a third of parents (30%) say their child has suffered a serious accident or near miss during the morning rush according to new research out today.

Topping the list of morning dangers for children are:

 Pulling a hot drink over themselves (34%)
 Touching hot hair straighteners (26%)
 Stepping out in front of traffic (25%)
 Falling down the stairs (23%)
 Getting into liquitabs or cleaning substances(11%).

Over a third (36%) of parents admit that they lose sight of safety precautions to prevent serious accidents in the breakfast time rush. And only 5% of parents prioritise keeping hot things or cleaning products out of children’s reach or shutting the safety gate.

The findings mark the launch of Child Safety Week, a national awareness campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). The Week equips families with knowledge about serious accident risks to children and the simple steps they can take to prevent them.

Commenting on the findings, Katrina Phillips, CAPT Chief Executive said: “Mornings are a mad rush in most homes. Parents are up against the clock to get children dressed, fed and off to school or nursery. So it’s hardly surprising safety precautions get missed.

“But these can be devastating injuries. Hair straighteners get so hot you can fry bacon on them, causing deep burns to a baby’s hand. The concentrated detergent in liquitabs swells children’s airways, leaving a toddler struggling for breath. And an older child can suffer brain damage if hit by a car.

“Simple changes to your morning routine can protect children from serious harm – whether that’s putting your coffee cup out of reach, popping your straighteners into a heat-proof pouch to cool or practising road safety on the walk to school. Our website gives practical advice on how to battle morning mayhem and make breakfast time safe for children.”

Dr Asif Rahman, Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine, at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, knows first-hand about the impact of morning accidents on children and their families. Dr Rahman said: “Sadly, I see child after child coming in each morning with painful injuries from accidents that could have been prevented, like burns from hot drinks. These burns are exceptionally painful for small children and very distressing for their parents.

“Every parent I see whose child has been burnt by a hot drink feels the accident was their fault. So much pain from something that is so easy to prevent. That is why campaigns like Child Safety Week are vital. They alert parents to simple changes they can make to their routines to prevent devastating injuries.”