0-3 years: Keeping children safe and sound

Your most important responsibility as a parent is to keep your child safe and free from harm.  Learn how to prevent accidents, trust your instincts and don't take unnecessary risks with your child's life.  Most important of all, watch your child when they are young, pay attention to them and keep them safely occupied.

Accidents and Under 5s
Home is where most accidents to children under five happen.  Sharp objects, hot drinks, cooking pans, stairs or windows, chemicals and medicines are all dangers for curious and adventurous toddlers.

Safety In The Home

Fire Safety

  • Have fireguards in front of fires and heaters
  • Have working smoke alarms
  • Have a fire escape plan
  • Keep matches and lighters shut away
  • Watch chip pans and other hot pans closely

Preventing Falls

  • Keep stairs, halls and landings free from clutter
  • Have a gate on the stairs
  • Hold onto the hadrail when carrying your baby downstairs
  • Change nappies on the floor if possible
  • Don't put furniture near windows where children could climb out

Electrical Safety

  • Have wires and flexes as short as possible and keep them safely bundled away
  • Cover unused electrical sockets with plastic blanks

In The Bathroom

  • Never leave babies or toddlers alone in the bath, even for a second
  • Check bath water isn't too hot - young skin scalds easily
  • Use plastic cups and containers not glass

In The Kitchen

  • Keep hot pans on back rings with handles turned inwards
  • Keep sharp knives out of reach
  • Don't leave hot drinks near your child

Choking & Swallowing Things

  • Keep coins, beads and other small things where your child can't find them
  • Keep all medicines, cleaning materials, alcohol and anything else harmful shut away

 Safety Tips For Outdoors

  • Keep tools and sheds locked up
  • Get old fridges and washing machines taken away
  • Keep side gates locked
  • Cover over any pond
  • Hold your child's hand if you stop to chat in the street
  • Always cross roads at crossings
  • Protect children's skin from hot sun
  • Always put car seats and belts on properly

Safety & Other People

  • Always know who your child is with
  • Don't leave them with someone you don't trust
  • Listen to their feelings about people
  • Make sure anyone baby-sitting knows about safety issues, what to do in an emergency and how to contact you


  • Each year about 25,000 under-fives go to hospital because they have swallowed something harmful
  • Every day, at least one under-five is scalded by bathwater badly enough to go to hospital
  • Boys aged nine months and older are twice as likely as girls to suffer accidents at a similar age


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