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Plea for parent child safety help

Monday June 18th, 2012

Health professionals have been urged to help "stressed" parents with ensuring the safety of their children.

The call went out for Child Safety Week as a new survey showed many parents claiming they do not have time to think about accident prevention measures.

The findings, from the Child Prevention Accident Trust, found that 70 per cent of parents report being exhausted by the time the day is over.

And 41 per cent said they did not have time to think about child safety - with a similar proportion saying they need more advice.

Parents said GPs, health visitors and practice nurses could all help with advice - with a small number mentioning midwives.

Last week in Bristol a specialist burns nurse warned of the dangers of hair straightener devices - which get hot enough to fry an egg.

Trust chief executive Katrina Phillips said the findings were "alarming".

She said the study showed that only a minority of parents take precautions such as putting cleaning products and hot drinks out of reach.

She said: "Work pressures and the economic downturn mean many parents now have less time to spend with their families. They’re exhausted, stressed and struggling to keep their heads above water. Child safety feels like one more thing to add to an already impossible to-do list.

“Pressures on parents mean some important steps to safety are not being prioritised."

She added: "Our research shows that less than a third of parents prioritise keeping cleaning products out of reach, just one in five put hot drinks out of reach or make sure children are safe on every car journey, and only one in ten make sure children know how to cycle safely in traffic, tie up blind cords to prevent strangulation or put cold water in the bath first and top up with hot.

“But that’s where health professionals can make such a difference to the safety of children in their community through their work during Child Safety Week and beyond."

Stress expert Professor Cary Cooper commented: “The UK has one of the highest number of working hours in Europe, and two out of every three parents are in two earner families.

"Long working hours put massive pressure on families and it is often the children who suffer as a result. In addition, financial pressures can increase conflict within the family and result in family breakdown."

Tags: A&E | Child Health | UK News

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