Give your guests a warm and safe welcome this christmas.

Christmas is almost here.  While you are having fun RoSPA have offered us a few festive tips to stay safe.

With Christmas just around the corner, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is encouraging people to take a moment to think about the safety of their home for any visitors – particularly young children – who might be dropping in during the festive period.

RoSPA is committed to the philosophy that life should be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible, and urges that safety precautions are not over the top; with just a little more care and forward planning, most accidents could be avoided.

Elizabeth Lumsden, community safety manager for RoSPA in Scotland, said: “If you’re expecting young children to visit your home this Christmas, it would be worth spending a few minutes to think about any preparations that might make your home safer for them. Looking around your home from a child’s point of view will help you to spot things that could attract their attention and that you might want to move or lock away safely.

For example, look out for small items that could pose a choking hazard to babies and toddlers, including dishes of peanuts or sweets; parts that have fallen off toys or from Christmas trees; Christmas novelties http://www.rospa.com/news/releases/detail/default.aspx?id=556  that are designed to be displayed rather than played with; toys that are not suitable for very young children; button batteries; and burst balloons. RoSPA also urges parents to take care when decorating their homes for Christmas and not to mistake novelties as toys.  In the photograph above only the reindeer on the right hand side is a “toy”; that bears the “CE” mark.  Medication should also be stored safely out of the sight and reach of children and consider whether household chemicals kept under the sink need to be moved or the cupboard locked. If you have blinds or curtains with looped operating cords, tie the cords high up out of the reach of young children or, better still, use one of the many cleats http://www.rospa.com/about/currentcampaigns/blindcords/default.aspx, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available.

“The supervision of young children is crucial when it comes to preventing accidents. At busy times, there are potentially more people around to supervise; but the excitement of Christmas can also cause a distraction, including through the drinking of alcohol or joining the cook in the kitchen while children are left alone to play in another room. Be aware that supervision, care and forward planning in the home can all help prevent most accidents this Christmas.”

Other tips for helping your house guests have a happy and safe stay at your home:

·        If you have guests sleeping downstairs, keep the stairs free of clutter so they can get up and down to the bathroom easily

·        Keep the landing light on so guests don’t have to make their way to an unfamiliar bathroom in the dark

·        Check your smoke alarm is working

·        Invest in an audible carbon monoxide detector (but remember that a detector is only a last line of defence and is not a substitute for the regular servicing of fuel-burning appliances and good ventilation).

For more Christmas safety advice from RoSPA, visit http://www.rospa.com/homesafety/adviceandinformation/christmassafety/safety-tips.aspx.

Posted by Clare Kersey

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