Safety tips for parents as Christmas nears

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has unveiled its top safety advice for an accident-free Christmas with children

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The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has released easy top tips to help families have a safe Christmas.

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“One of RoSPA’s guiding principles is that life should be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible,” Sheila Merrill, from RoSPA, has said. For this reason, the society has given out simple but effective guidelines on how to make sure your Christmas isn’t cut short with a trip to your local A&E!

Starting with advice on opening your child’s presents, RoSPA says use scissors to open tricky packaging and screwdrivers to assemble toys – don’t try and make do with a knife. It’s also recommended that the small things, like Christmas tree decorations, are kept out of reach from small children as they could be a serious choking hazard. These kinds of things aren’t toys so don’t comply with toy safety regulations.

With house fires being more likely during the festive period than at any other time of the year, RoSPA has specific fire safety tips. With 1,400 candle fires reported last year, it’s definitely worth being more vigilant.

Top tips on preventing accidental fires this Christmas

  • Keep matches and lighters away from children
  • Do not leave cooking unattended
  • Do not overload sockets (if absolutely necessary, use a multiway trailing socket – not an adaptor block)
  • Always extinguish cigarettes properly and do not smoke in bed
  • Do not leave burning candles unattended and remember to put them out completely (and switch Christmas lights off) when leaving the house or going to bed
  • Never put candles on or near Christmas trees or plants, keep them away from flammable materials, including curtains, decorations and cards, and never stand them under a shelf
  • Always place candles in a stable holder and remember to stand tea lights on a heat-resistant surface (they have been known to burn through baths and television sets)
  • Make sure candles are well out of the way of children and pets
  • Ensure you have a working smoke alarm – test if before Christmas
  • Always have a fire escape plan
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For more advice on how to keep your baby or toddler safe and sound, check out our top 10 Christmas safety tips.

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