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Borough launches campaign to prevent childhood poisoning from cleaning products

Pictured at the launch of the ‘Take Action Today, Put Them Away’ initiative in Craigavon Civic & Conference Centre were (L-R): Ashley Martin, RoSPA; Charlene Piggott, Ards & North Down BC (Home Safety Officer); Catherine Lynch, Newry Mourne & Down DC; Hilary Johnson, Public Health Agency; Aoife McAteer, Belfast City Council (Home Safety Officer); Eileen Maguire, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon BC.

A campaign to promote awareness and prevent child poisoning from household cleaning products has been launched in the ABC borough.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) unveiled its ‘Take Action Today, Put Them Away’ initiative at an event in Craigavon.

Home Safety Officers from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and representatives from councils across Northern Ireland and the Public Health Agency took part.

Following its success in England it is hoped the scheme’s positive impact can be replicated in Northern Ireland.

Research carried out by the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children showed that ingestion of liquid detergent capsules accounted for around 15% of all non-medical ingestions in emergency departments, with two to three year olds being the most common age group affected.

Home Safety Officers working across Northern Ireland have identified that a startling 40% of householders did not store medication, alcohol and chemicals safely out of reach from children in the kitchen and 32% did not store medicines, cleaning chemicals and cosmetics safely out of reach from children in the bathroom.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Alderman Gareth Wilson commented: “With more accidents happening in the home than anywhere else, our involvement and engagement in this campaign is very important to us and our residents.

“Equipping householders with the skills to recognise the dangers of accidental poisoning in the home and encouraging them to take steps to prevent these kind of incidents, the campaign will help safeguard our homes and prevent avoidable accidents.”

The ‘Take Action Today, Put Them Away’ advice to parents includes:

  • Store household cleaning products out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard
  • Always store chemicals in their original containers
  • Never pierce or break laundry capsules or tablets
  • Always close the lid of any product
  • In the event of an incident, follow advice on the product pack and seek medical attention

To learn more about the ‘Take Action Today, Put Them Away’ campaign please visit www.rospa.com. For more information on a range of safety in the home topics visit: https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/resident/public-health-and-housing/.

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