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Health visiting teams have been out in Poole town centre raising awareness about every-day child safety risks – and how to avoid them.
Dorset HealthCare staff hosted an information stand in Falkland Square in partnership with the borough’s Family Information Service, Dorset Road Safety and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.
They offered advice on everything from using stair gates correctly and keeping small objects out of reach, to applying the right factor sun creams and using seatbelts and restraints when in the car.
The initiative was part of national Child Safety Week, and comes in light of recent rises in the number of A&E admissions at both Bournemouth and Poole Hospitals of children under the age of five.
Sheena Read, Paediatric Team Nurse at Dorset HealthCare, said: “We were really encouraged with the response we had from parents visiting our stand.
“Targeting families and speaking to them directly is a really effective way of getting our messages across. Even spending a couple of minutes with someone can highlight risks that aren’t always at the forefront of our mind, such as dangers of long blind chords and hair straighteners which remain hot for a long time after they have been switched off.”
This year’s theme for Child Safety Week was ‘turn off technology’, encouraging us to avoid using our phones, tablets and televisions at busy times in order to reduce the risk of accidents happening.
Community Nursery Nurse Pauline Yates said: “Serious accidents involving young children can happen very quickly, particularly when we are distracted, such as answering phone calls or checking a text. It is vital that we, as parents, carers and grandparents, take the time to focus our attention on our children at hectic times.”
The stand also promoted other health services in the local area, to help parents make an informed decision as to whether their child actually needs to attend an A&E department or can receive treatment at a pharmacy, doctor’s surgery, out-of-hours service or from a school nurse.
For more information about where to go for treatment, see thechildren’s health needs leaflets.