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Parents warned of home dangers to kids

BE ON GUARD ... Coun Tracey Dixon, left, with child safety worker Debbie Laing, holding detergent liquitabs, which children can mistake for sweets.

BE ON GUARD ... Coun Tracey Dixon, left, with child safety worker Debbie Laing, holding detergent liquitabs, which children can mistake for sweets.

PARENTS are being warned of a series of dangers to children in the home.

Trading standards experts in South Tyneside are aiming to raise awareness of accidents involving window blind cords, detergent liquitabs, button cell batteries and plastic nappy sacks.

More than 28 babies and young children have died nationally over the last 15 years as a result of becoming entangled in window blind cords and chains.

One of these tragedies happened in April when two-year-old Sophie Allen, from Sunderland, died after she became entangled in a window blind cord after a game of hide and seek with her brother went devastatingly wrong.

There have also been cases where young children have been injured after biting or placing colourful detergent liquitabs in their mouths, often mistaking them for sweets.

The tabs contain strong alkaline chemicals which can burn and make the throat swell if ingested.

The campaign is also highlighting the dangers of small button cell batteries which are commonly found in toys, remote controls, calculators and other small electrical devices but can cause severe trauma, such as acid damage to the throat or stomach and damage other internal organs, if swallowed.

The campaign is part of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ Child Safety Awareness Week.

Safety posters are being distributed to organisations and professionals involved in the care of small children in a bid to highlight the dangers. Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “We hope to highlight the potential danger that these everyday household items can pose to babies and young children.

“If used correctly, all the products are completely safe but it is impossible to “childproof” a home and people need to be aware of potential dangers.”

She added: “Looped blind and window cords can be very dangerous, as young children – especially those under the age of three – can become entangled and do not have the neck strength to free themselves. The cords should be tied up so they are out of reach of children or a clip should be used.”

Parents and carers can get more information about child safety from ROSPA at www.rospa.com or visit http://www.southtyneside.info/article/12936/trading-standards

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