Parents and carers of children, young people and older, more vulnerable adults in Wolverhampton are being urged to be extra vigilant of potential dangers in and around the home during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together partnership has shared some simple steps on home safety to help families prevent accidents and help their loved ones avoid having to go to A&E.
Top tips for keeping children safe include:
ensuring windows are not left open where children can reach or climb up to them
keeping cleaning products, garden chemicals and medicines locked away or well out of reach
supervising children at all times near water, including paddling pools and garden ponds, and particularly if you live close to a canal or river
ensuring families still seek medical help if their child is unwell or injured - NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same care that they have always have done.
Top tips for keeping older, more vulnerable adults safe include:
avoiding leaving items on the stairs – they can become a tripping hazard
wearing well-fitting shoes and slippers
removing loose rugs, or using tape to stick down corners
ensuring landings, stairs and hallways should be well lit, and stairs are maintained – damaged or worn carpet should be repaired or removed if possible.
Further detailed advice can be found at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) website, www.rospa.com/accidentfree and the Child Accident Prevention Trust website, www.capt.org.uk/news/preventing-accidents-in-the-home. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has a range of advice for parents and carers on children accessing treatment and attending medical appointments during the coronavirus outbreak, and tips on stay at home activities – for more details, please visit www.rcpch.ac.uk/key-topics/covid-19.
Sally Roberts, Chair of the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Together Executive, said: "It’s vital that we all continue to follow the Government’s guidance to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
“We know it’s a challenging time for many people. Children are spending longer periods at home than they would usually do, and older more vulnerable adults may not be seen quite as frequently as they are used to as regular visits from friends and family will not now be happening, so it’s really important to ensure that older people have access to good accident prevention advice during this time.
"It can also be hard for people who are juggling working from home with a caring responsibility for adults or children to be as vigilant as usual.
“Accidents are particularly a risk for young children and older, more vulnerable adults. Whilst young children can easily become bored and may go looking for things to do that can lead to accidents, the older we get the more susceptible we are to accidents, and particularly falls. We want to do all we can to prevent serious accidents and hope these tips will help all families.”
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "It’s a difficult time for families and these are helpful reminders for parents and carers and relatives to prevent accidents and keep loved ones who need care and support safe.”
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/stay-safe-be-kind.