Is our children’s safety being challenged due to work pressures and external commitments? According to research from Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), parents are looking for help from early years providers.
Due to the economic downturn and work demands being placed on parents so much pressure is affecting the children’s safety with a suggested risk: 4 in 10 parents (41%) say they don’t have time to even think about preventing their children having serious accidents 7 in 10 parents (69%) are exhausted by the end of the day 6 in 10 parents (60%) say work pressures mean they have less time to spend with their families Over a half of parents (58%) say they are under more stress than their parents’ generation.
When it comes to getting help and support to keep their children safer the research shows 4 in 10 parents (40%) say they need more advice about keeping their family safe. 1 in 5 parents (18%) want this advice from their local Children’s Centre (18%) or nursery (18%).
The findings mark the launch of Child Safety Week which provides a platform for local practitioners working with families and children to engage parents with messages about the risks of serious accidents and the small steps families can take to keep children safer from serious accidents.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust said: “These findings are alarming. Work pressures and the economic downturn mean many parents now have less time to spend with their families. They’re exhausted, stressed and struggling to keep their heads above water. Child safety feels like one more thing to add to an already impossible to-do list.”
“Pressures on parents mean some important steps to safety are not being prioritised. Our research shows that less than a third of parents (27%) prioritise keeping cleaning products out of reach, just one in five put hot drinks out of reach (20%) or make sure children are safe on every car journey (18%), and only one in ten make sure children know how to cycle safely in traffic (11%), tie up blind cords to prevent strangulation (9%) or put cold water in the bath first and top up with hot (8%).
“But that’s where local practitioners can make such a huge difference to the safety of children in their community through their work during Child Safety Week and beyond. Parents need advice on easy ways to prevent serious accidents, so they can stay on top of safety despite all the competing pressures they face. The findings show that parents welcome this advice and they want it from local practitioners.”
The UK has one of the highest number of working hours in Europe, and 2 out of every 3 parents are in two earner families. Long working hours put massive pressure on families and it is often the children who suffer as a result. In addition, financial pressures can increase conflict within the family and result in family breakdown.
Parents in both middle and low incomes are facing the biggest challenges with child benefit and tax credits cuts combined with increase cost of living. These parents are the ones who need the most help. Child Safety Week and professionals working with families and children throughout the country need to support parents with information and services to ensure serious accidents are prevented.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) is the UK’s leading charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents, without ‘wrapping them in cotton wool’. Further information about CAPT is available at www.capt.org.uk/