child safety week 180Doctors have issued a warning about "teatime danger" after a new survey found that more than half of serious road accidents to children occur between 3pm and 7pm and children are more than twice as likely to suffer a serious burn between 3pm and 6pm.

The results are released as part of Child Safety Week (1 - 7 June), the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s annual flagship community education campaign.

The peak in child road deaths and injuries is linked to the after-school rush. The report shows that there are more serious and fatal injuries to school-age pedestrians in the afternoon and early evening than at any other time of day.

Commenting on the findings Dr Asif Rahman, Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine at St Mary’s Hospital said: “We see a massive peak at this time of day, from serious burns and road accidents through to more minor injuries. Burns from hot drinks and kettles are particularly distressing. Parents often blame themselves and feel the accident was their fault. They’d do anything to prevent the pain their child is suffering. That is why campaigns like Child Safety Week are so important, to raise awareness of the simple things that families can do to stop serious injuries happening.”

The peak in serious burns reflects how, for many parents, teatime is when demands on their time peak. Hot drinks are by far the biggest danger, followed by burns from the iron, kettle, cooker and bath. Babies and toddlers are most at risk, making up nearly half of all child burn victims.

Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive, Child Accident Prevention Trust added: “Children suffer more serious burns and road accidents during the after-school rush than at any other time of day. Parents are up against it to get everyone home, tea on the table, clothes ironed and tired children into the bath. It’s hardly surprising safety measures get missed.

“But these can be devastating injuries. A hot drink can scar a baby for life. A child can suffer brain damage if hit by a car. Simple changes to teatime routines can protect children from serious harm – whether that’s putting your mug of tea out of reach or practising road safety on the walk home from school. Visit our website for practical advice on making teatime safer for children.”