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Council lends support for home accident prevention video

11 December 2017

Derry City and Strabane District Council is helping to raise awareness of the dangers associated with hot appliances, liquids and bath water by sharing and promoting a Public Health Agency (PHA) video and safety message.

The campaign is the latest in a series of awareness-raising activities to reduce the prevalence of accidents that occur in or around the home, and shows how quickly and easily burns and scalds can occur.

Seamus Donaghy, Head of Health and Community Wellbeing Health with Derry City and Strabane District Council, says the Council is very keen to support the PHA campaign through its Home Safety team and to assist in whatever way it can to get the message out to the public.

He said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Public Health Agency to raise awareness of the many ways accidents within the home can occur. Young children can very quickly and easily be burnt or scalded, a particularly distressing type of accident with consequences that could last for life.

“Every effort is needed to ensure that hot liquids and appliances are kept out of the reach of children and that the appropriate safety checks are done at bath time to prevent accidents occurring. We hope that this video will be as successful in raising awareness of home accident prevention as our previous blind cord safety video.

“In addition to the equipment we provide as part of our home safety visits we also have pouches that can be used to put hair straighteners away safely and these are available free of charge through our Registrar Services.”

According to Dr Carolyn Harper, Director of Public Health at the PHA, home accidents can easily be prevented by being aware of the dangers and hazards that are present in the home environment and taking steps to minimise the risks.

She said: “Hot appliances, liquids and bath water are responsible for more than half of all burns and scalds, with young children being particularly vulnerable. The video aims to highlight how easy it is for a child to burn themselves or be scalded, and encourages parents and guardians to be aware of the risks and how injuries can be reduced.”

Mary Black, Assistant Director of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement with the PHA, said: “It is impossible to watch over our children 24 hours a day, so it is essential that we take time to make the home environment as safe as possible.

“The video shows a typical busy home and highlights that it can take just seconds for an accident to happen.”

It also informs people that:

  • Hot drinks can still scald 15 minutes after they’ve been made and can result in years of skin graft treatment. Ensure hot drinks are out of reach of babies and children.
  • Hot water scalds in seconds. Run the cold water first and always check the temperature of bath water.
  • Hair straighteners can get very hot, very quickly and cause serious burns that scar for life, keep out of the reach of children and put them away safely after use.

“It is important that parents, relatives and carers are aware of these hazards and proactively take steps to make sure children are kept safe.

“Don’t leave it until it is too late – taking simple steps to make our homes safer for a child is the best way to reduce the risk of accidents,” concluded Mary.

Dr Julie-Ann Maney, consultant in paediatric emergency medicine in The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children said: “We look after children every day who have sustained accidental burns and scalds. Burns and scalds can be life threatening and can have long term health implications. 

“Prevention and awareness of first aid measures are really important in the management of burns. The advice and the warnings in the scarred for life video and website are essential for all parents and carers. Prevention is always better than a cure.”

To view the video visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/burns-safety-advice      

For further information or advice on home safety and preventing burns and scalds you can contact Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Home Safety Team on  028 71 253253 [email protected]  or your health visitor.