The thread that could save a life

(149 Posts)

So I was really shocked at the terrible camping tragedy a few weeks ago where people died from carbon monoxide poisoning from the fumes given off by a disposable barbecue. It was a horribly sad but really shocking for me because I didn't know:

Disposable bbq's gave off carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide 'sinks' so you are most at danger at floor level
Tents do not offer enough ventilation to prevent it.

<Thick emoticon>

Then the other day a fireman told me that one of the biggest causes of fires these days are phone/laptop chargers plugged in but not connected to a device. I had no idea.

And when I did a first aid course when PFB DD1 was born, the St John Ambulance woman told me that if she had her way, balloons would be outlawed until children were around 8-10. Smaller children try to blow them up, they don't have the lungs for it and the balloon suddenly pings into the mouth/back of throat and no 'upside down/back banging/heimlich maneuver is ever going to shift them'. She said that the 999 emergency services operators always feel their hearts sink when someone calls up in a panic because a child has swallowed a balloon because it so often has a grim outcome.

My DC think I'm a bit mad about balloons now. But hey ho.

Please share more 'hidden dangers' that we might not all be aware of. Not to give us all the horrors but seriously, I wouldn't have thought twice about the disposable barbeque and it's really made me wonder if I am doing anything else stupid/dangerous.

nosleepwithworry Mon 28-May-12 09:42:53

HELMETS please please please please people, put helmets on your kids when on push bikes...even if its just up the road to the shop, or around the corner...proper fitting helmets will save a life, will preserve a life because persistant vegatitive state is forever and ever and is like a slow tortureous death for all involved.
However, catastrophic head injury provide organ donors......Just helmets please.

milk Mon 28-May-12 09:43:03

Thank you for this info smile I had no idea about balloons shock

im sure you all know, but grapes, perfect size and shape for a child's throat

God, I always leave phone chargers plugged in shock. Thanks for posting this

and yes i was shocked to learn that about barbecues

Sirzy Mon 28-May-12 09:45:51

Inflatables in the sea, this weekends shocking news will hopefully make people think twice before using them.

Also, I would urge all parents of young babies to make sure they are aware of the symptoms of bronchiolitis. As it effects so many on some level I dont understand why more isn't done to make sure parents know what to look for.

BertieBotts Mon 28-May-12 09:47:39

The chargers thing - is that really true?? I thought the circuit was broken when nothing was plugged in and hence no charge is coming through the device.

cocolepew Mon 28-May-12 09:49:15

I always leave my charger in shock Thanks for the warning smile

debka Mon 28-May-12 09:49:46

Bloody hell, had no idea about the balloons or the chargers.

I'll be getting DD a helmet asap too...

Flisspaps Mon 28-May-12 09:53:06

BertieBotts I thought that too confused

It was a fireman who told me about the chargers - a couple of days ago. So with absolutely no technical know-how whatsoever, I took it at face value

Gigondas Mon 28-May-12 10:02:30

Dishwasher or laundry tablets - kids eating or squeezing themselves with them (they are caustic). On my first aid course nurse said had seen a lot of incidents with them.

Also garden trampolines are my Gp dads pet hate (does the walk in a and e clinics)- seen too many injuries incl spinal ones.

lucky4 Mon 28-May-12 10:06:54

BLIND CORDS...have heard of a few tragedys where kids got tangled in long cords and choked..I had blinds all over the house with ridiculous long cords so cut them all up short so if you have blinds CUT THE CORDS!!!

Sirzy Mon 28-May-12 10:07:32

gigondas there is a display up in our peads a and e about trampoline safety, it is enough to put me off ever buying one for Ds!

RandomNumbers Mon 28-May-12 10:07:53

wrt grapes make sure that they are cut lengthways not widthways

CuppaTeaJanice Mon 28-May-12 10:13:41

Helium balloons - I know they give you a funny squeaky voice, but inhaling the amount of helium inside a 9 inch balloon is enough to kill an adult.

Ant powder - a tiny amount on a fingertip which makes it's way into a toddler's mouth can have tragic consequences.

I had no idea about the balloons!

My friend is a fireman and he thinks plug in air fresheners are the work of the devil.

We have a trampoline in the garden, now I'm worried. Anyone care to elaborate?

IAmBooybilee Mon 28-May-12 10:16:00

thank you for this thread.

someone posted last year (or maybe year before) a lik to what drowning actully looks like.

apparently most people think it is someone flailing about shouting for help and thrashing the water.

it isnt. it's silent and motionless. when someone is drowning they are beyond the point of asking for help.

i dont know if this is the same link but worth looking at if you aren't sure.

TheRhubarb Mon 28-May-12 10:17:10

Trampolines can be caught by a sudden high gust and roll down the street.

That do you miseryguts? smile

eosmum Mon 28-May-12 10:17:17

WRT balloons, the helium ones are lethal they spray a toxic glue mixture into the balloons before they put the gas in to make them stay up longer, and kids and adults never seem to be able to resist sucking in the helium. Two dangers, firstly the danger of the balloon going into the airway, and secondly the toxic glue fumes.

Have heard of two cases in the last couple of years where a toddler pulled the older fashioned heavier tvs on top of themselves and died, new tv tables are not made for old fashioned tvs.

BertieBotts Mon 28-May-12 10:18:08

I want an actual firefighter/firefighter's DP to come and explain/confirm the chargers one now.

Plug-in air fresheners? shock DP has loads of them! I find them cloying and am always unplugging them.

Rollmops Mon 28-May-12 10:18:35

Thankfully not quite (mostly) as tragic as the above, however, tics are nasty, nasty little suckers and must be watched out for.
My cousin was terribly unlucky and got both Lyme disease and encephalitis from these nasties. She was in intensive care for weeks and in hospital well over a year. It completely ruined her health.
She was in her early thirties; children could possibly fare much worse.
Check your DC after playing outside, tics like warm, moist places ie armpits, crotch etc. If you find one, the sooner its removed, the better.
Hate the things angry

IAmBooybilee Mon 28-May-12 10:18:56

misery it can be due to the way your feet/ankles land on the trampoline (snapping ankes)or it can be due to jumping and getting your foot through the gap at the side or it can be due to being over ambitious with back flips or somersaults, having no safety net, hitting the bars at the side and so on.

TheRhubarb Mon 28-May-12 10:20:07

Helium cannot kill you, it's the lack of oxygen that will. Apparently if you breathe in lots without taking a breath of air, then you are starving yourself of oxygen. Although what is most likely to happen is that you'll faint. And you have to breathe in quite a bit of helium without stopping in order to starve yourself of oxygen so much that you die.

IAmBooybilee Mon 28-May-12 10:21:04

i've also heard that about air fresheners being a massive fire hazard.

PrisonerOfWaugh Mon 28-May-12 10:23:08

Rotary washing lines that are folded down are at exact toddler neck height, they are as much risk as blind cords. Either cover them up or leave the washing line up out of reach.

A fireman told me once that washing machines or dryers were a prime cause of floods and fires in the home, and that especially should not be left running while everyone is out.

only4tonight Mon 28-May-12 10:23:17

Not so much an issue now with flat screen tvs but tea light candles on top of tvs used to be a massive problem. The metal cases got hot that melted a hole in the plastic top of the tv so the lit candle droped in and everything caught on fire.

Also don't smoke in bathrooms. Hairspray + spark = BOOM!

QIelf Mon 28-May-12 10:24:22

everyone should know about secondary drowning

ToryLovell Mon 28-May-12 10:27:49
Birnamwood Mon 28-May-12 10:31:13

silent drowning

As a pp said, when a person is drowning they are not flailing around shouting for help, it is silent and can go unnoticed

TheRhubarb Mon 28-May-12 10:41:16

So can choking. A person who is choking may not make any noise at all, they may just fall down on the floor and stop breathing. Which is why you should always check the airways of someone who is unconscious.

insancerre Mon 28-May-12 10:44:39

plug socket covers make plug sockets live
they are safer without the covers

LtEveDallas Mon 28-May-12 10:54:10

C&P from a post I made on the 'Things you are evangelical about' thread:

Drowning doesn't look like drowning.

Too many people think it's just like the movies with arms waving and coughing and spluttering.

The reality is much scarier, much quicker and SILENT


Scarier Link HERE

Solo Mon 28-May-12 10:58:18

Don't let children pull front doors closed using the letter box. My Ds got his thumb caught in a sprung letter box at 17 months and it cut off a considerable amount of his thumb...the more you pull, the more it grips and cuts into fingers/thumb. He was lucky that my parents got him to A&E so quickly and a brilliant surgeon reattached it.

Thumbwitch Mon 28-May-12 11:04:32

That is interesting about the phone charger. I leave mine plugged in the whole time but always switch it off at the plug; but when I haven't (because it's been plugged into an extension lead that services other electrical equipment, it has always stayed cold unless a phone is actively being charged.
So - maybe there was a fault in the charger involved, maybe the phone was actually being charged, maybe there was something else closing the circuit on the plug - or maybe there are some chargers that continue to pump electricity into the open air. Worth checking out! Or just always switch off/unplug your charger, I guess.

Random throwing up followed by eating normally; frequent headaches, especially on waking; loss of balance and co-ordination; fits without fever; sudden bouts of lethargy; (and I'm sure other symptoms too) may all be symptoms of brain tumour. They aren't easy to spot in young children as they may be sporadic and can be written off as ear infections, tonsilitis, febrile convulsions (if docs don't bother to check fever is present), teething - if the symptoms persist, INSIST on referral for a scan.

rockdoctor Mon 28-May-12 11:06:02

In a similar vein to the letter box posting, I had a friend whose toddler severed a big toe trying to close a sliding patio door.

AvocadoAndFitch Mon 28-May-12 11:16:53

Can I also add, with balloons young babies and children chewing on them and popping them, sending a piece into the windpipe and them choking.

I saw this happen at a party when I was 20. Fortunately the baby survived but was a close one. Everyone looked around after hearing a pop, didn't realise the baby sat on the floor was choking until it's head hit the ground. Then took a while for people to realise the pop was from the balloon the baby had and it was stuck.

I still think about that poor baby.

4aminsomniac Mon 28-May-12 11:21:39

Just asked my DH about phone chargers, he its well qualified in electronics generally, and he confirms you mustn't leave them on with no phone attached!

Apparently they have some electronics in them which continues to operate when phone is not there, eg. A circuit that monitors the state of the thing being charged.

So, please turn off or unplug chargers!

SaggyCeratops Mon 28-May-12 11:33:17

Please do your child car seat straps up properly. Thy need to be TIGHT! If they aren't, you might as well but not bother. They need to be the right height too.
My friend had a car crash. The straps on her seat were too loose. The impact pushed her baby out of the seat. He was fine, but it could have been far worse! Extra clothes in winter can also cause problems. Better to take them off and use more blankets.

SaggyCeratops Mon 28-May-12 11:34:43

I HATE balloons. Bloody awful things! sad

OddBoots Mon 28-May-12 11:39:54

It makes no difference if you unplug or switch off a charger when not in use so I have got myself one of these - it works really well.

These are horrible, but fantastically good to know.

Had no idea about trampolines being especially dangerous. Nor the air fresheners.

MiladyBrochTuarach Mon 28-May-12 11:41:52

I would assume that the phone charger/laptop thing is because they get really hot when they have been plugged in for a long time, if you touch the main body of the charger it is scary how much heat it gives out.

I'm sure someone will be along to let us know for definite soon.

madmomma Mon 28-May-12 11:45:14

fantastic thread - didn't know some of these. So wrt the socket covers, how come they're not safe?

My dd is 3 and begged for a trampoline as all her friends have them. They are banned in some countries as they cause so many accidents. There's a document on the prevention of accidents website and it says something like, most accidents are when more than one person is on the tranpoline. And under 8's. It says something like if two people are jumping and get out of synch, the force of the trampoline coming up to meet the second jumper before they are ready is akin to falling from a three storeys hence spinal injury. It says trampolines should have an enclosure and only be used by one person at a time.

I hate it as my dd goes to play at friends and they all go on together which is most risky. I'll try to find the link but i'm on my phone.

Thanks for this thread.

I'm always aware of DC's over excited jumping on the trampoline in case of broken bones.

I also know someone whose child get stuck in a rotary washing like that was down. Luckily he was ok

SugarBatty Mon 28-May-12 11:49:00

Small polystyrene balls or even shards off packaging can expand when swallowed or inhaled and lead to choking.

Solo Mon 28-May-12 11:50:32

In a socket (in the UK anyway) the top hole has a cover inside which prevents things being poked in. If you poke something into the upper hole and watch the lower ones, you'll see the cover lifting which makes it live. So if you are pushing a plastic cover into the whole thing ~ it's then live!

IAmBooybilee Mon 28-May-12 11:52:57

i wonder who those socket covers are passed as safe for retail then? surely the people who design them have a basic understanding of how a socket works?

madmomma Mon 28-May-12 11:54:08

it's live but does it matter if it's covered? isnt it still safer than being exposed so a toddler can shove a fork in it, or plug something in and use it? (not being arsey, just don't understand)

surely the socket is live yes but as plastic doesn't conduct electricity (as far as i know) then it is still safe, whereas an uncovered socket could have the potential for a small person to insert something that does conduct electricity into it, and is therefore more dangerous uncovered

Flisspaps Mon 28-May-12 12:04:24

Stacey and madmomma The info re socket covers is here

My understanding is that some retailers have stopped selling them because they are dangerous.

NickettyNacketty Mon 28-May-12 12:05:44

It's been mentioned before but tumble dryers are a big cause of house fires. The fluff can burn very easily so should be removed after every dry and you should never leave one on when the house is empty.
Although if there is goingvto be a fire in my house I would rather it was empty.

TheRhubarb Mon 28-May-12 12:06:33
IAmBooybilee Mon 28-May-12 12:08:50

well i have pets so i'd rather be in the house if a fire started. i do run mine at night though but wont anymore.

I am always tumble drying at night
And when we're out

Think I will carry on when we are out, but not at night any more

Also wondering if the carbon monoxide alarm on my DS's ceiling (his room is near the boiler cupboard) should actually be lower down?

cocolepew Mon 28-May-12 12:41:09

I know of 2 fires that have been started by plug in air freshners.

NEVER leave your tumbler drier on and leave the house/go to bed.

cocolepew Mon 28-May-12 12:42:15

That's a good point about the C M alarm, it would seem to make sense if it sinks to ground level.

cocolepew Mon 28-May-12 12:43:04

Plug in air freshners/sprays are also a factoor in ear infections in young children.

TheRhubarb Mon 28-May-12 12:46:25

CO detectors should be fitted quite low (not on a ceiling) as CO sinks. They should also be installed on the opposite side of the room to the gas appliance and not near any windows.

where to install a CO alarm

Ellovera Mon 28-May-12 12:46:39

Small marshmallows = severe choking hazard. Baby nearby ate one from parents hot chocolate and died there in the restaurant . No paramedics or anyone could save him :-(

NoWuckingFurries Mon 28-May-12 12:46:48

I want to reiterate the grapes being a chocking hazard one. And include cherry tomatoes! For children under 4 they need to be cut at least in half, preferably quarters. My sister who is a paediatrician is doing research for an article and grapes are now a greater cause of death by choking than little bits of toys (which has decreased significantly since the introduction of "Warning: Choking Hazard" labels). It's even more difficult to get information on serious injury.

When I was a baby my mum had to cut up grapes to take the seeds out but obviously we don't need to do that anymore with only seedless grapes available. Don't take the risk!

issimma Mon 28-May-12 12:48:50

I read this thread to relax during dd's nap. <terrified but grateful>

Thumbwitch Mon 28-May-12 13:27:33

I always cut DS's grapes lengthwise and he still managed to get one stuck - luckily I got it free quite quickly and easily but after that I cut them into quarters and skinned them so they squished more easily.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 28-May-12 13:30:34

Blind cords - either get safety ones or cut them so they're not in a loop.

Don't use your dishwasher or tumbledryer or washing machine on a timer setting so it comes on in the night. I know of someone who did this and the dishwasher caught fire, their smoke alarm woke them up and they got out though the cats died and the house was gutted.

Then a year later our dishwasher caught fire, luckily I was in the dining room at the time. The assessor who came out said he goes to a lot of house fires where such appliances have started the fire - he won't use his if he's going out either.

Change the batteries in your smoke alarms twice a year when the clocks change.

Solo Mon 28-May-12 14:37:55

The thing is, if these air fresheners work only when you plug them in (because they then become warm) and the plug prongs are only made of plastic, it's the same thing for these covers...also, if there is nothing in the plug socket, then the child can't push anything into the live bits unless they are pushing into the top one and at least one bottom one.

Flimflammery Mon 28-May-12 14:53:50

Here's one from my aunt who used to work in a specialist burns unit: if your chip pan or other pan of oil catches fire, DO NOT try to take it outside the back door, as the draft of air when you open the door will push the flames up your arm and burn you severely. Instead soak a towell in water and throw it over the pan.

Nobody's yet said about fixing furniture to walls. Anything that could topple if climbed on (or even if you don't think it can but can't be sure - toddlers can manage things you don't expect!). Chests of drawers, bookcases, wardrobes - anything a child could pull, hang or climb on. There have been several horrible stories of deaths from crush or impact injuries.

Also as someone above did say, I've heard of a few nasty cases of TVs either falling off stands onto children, or falling from walls/brackets if they weren't fixed securely enough.

Oh and if anyone still has a pond and has small children (or lives where children could easily get access to it) - please, just get a safe cover, or just fill it in!

threeleftfeet Mon 28-May-12 15:00:50

In a hurry, so can't read now, but don't want to lose this so marking my place for later.

alexpolismum Mon 28-May-12 15:03:13

My (electronics engineer/ general electrics technician) DH says that when plugged in phone chargers put out a constant power supply, and if they are not connected to the device that needs charging, this power has nowhere "safe" to go and then can cause fires.

He also says the same is true of some other types of battery rechargers, so it's not just phone chargers you need to be careful with.

And also, wrt the chargers - you will save money by turning them off!

FrancescaCarrington Mon 28-May-12 15:10:05

I thought the plug in air freshener was a urban myth

I know they are a risk, but then every electrical item is also a risk, nothing is totally safe.

Of course there are cases where they are the cause of a fire, but because they haven't been used properly, like here where clothing was left over the freshener

<<wanders off debating if she should unplug them>>

hackmum Mon 28-May-12 15:14:46

I've long been bothered by trampolines. I have so many (adult) friends who do just that: let a whole load of kids play on the trampoline at once, and I know it's really dangerous but I just wimpily say things like "do you think it's a good idea to have that many kids on there?" rather than "for fuck's sake, you madwoman, only one or two kids at a time!"

givemushypeasachance Mon 28-May-12 15:21:19

ROSPA Accidents to Children Advice

Scary stats in there - 58,000 children a year suffer accidents on stairs, a hot drink can still scald a child 15 minutes after being made, 500 children a year are admitted to hospital as a result of bath water scalds. It's not all scare tactics though, it has some excellent advice.

On a serious note - if your child needed it, would you want them to receive a blood transfusion? Or a donor organ that might be the only thing that can save their life?

Then do you give blood if you are eligible to? Are you on the donor register?

Think about it.

Darkling Mon 28-May-12 15:26:19

I've heard the thing about air fresheners that plug in starting fires too (from an ex fireman at a fire marshal training course), a few faulty ones can overheat and explode apparently if left in for too long. He also said that inhaling the fumes from them is highly carcinogenic and they should be banned, I used to have one near the cat's litter tray but since DD arrived I won't even burn a scented candle in the house.

bonnieslilsister Mon 28-May-12 15:28:24

Nappy bags are dangerous as are all plastic bags. I am getting scared reading all these posts and I will be a nervous wreck tonight before bed going round checking all charger many of them nowadays with ipods and kindles etc.

Does anyone know if it is ok to leave an ipod in a dock rather than a charger on charge?

Hackmum i agree, even though i know the risks i'm always too scared to voice concerns. Its always a group of kids on the trampoline or worse my sil gets on with the three kids. That adult then renders the little kids at higher risk of injury but i darent be the one saying
'eeerrrrr thats actually quite dangerous' which is awful as my dd will be on there. As so many people have a trampoline and use them in that way i'm conscious of seemingly lecturing people.

becstarsky Mon 28-May-12 15:44:48

Learn to spot stroke symptoms - [[ here]] and [[ here]]
Years ago I was at a party with my sister where a woman was complaining about her husband being drunk, saying ‘he said he’d only have two, now he’ll want me to drive him home etc.’ He was acting like he was drunk – he’d fallen over, then came around with slurred speech, seemed disoriented etc. I certainly assumed he was drunk at that point and it was a party so quite a natural assumption. But my sister is a doctor and she quickly went over and said ‘Can you smile for me?’ to him, then ‘Can you lift up your arms for me?’ then very quickly called for an ambulance. He hadn’t had any alcohol at all – he’d just had a stroke, but he made a full recovery. (So proud of my sister I could burst, of course!)
The length of time before treatment starts makes a big difference both to whether you survive and your quality of life – you’re losing brain function all the time with a stroke so speedy intervention makes a big difference.

I am glad I've seen this thread. We do have a trampoline and 2 DC's that usually go on together. DD1 is 6 and DD2 is nearly 3 but quite small for her age so now I know she is at greater risk by going on with DC1 I will make sure they take it in turns.

becstarsky Mon 28-May-12 15:46:07
Solo Mon 28-May-12 15:46:21

Givemushypeasachance sadly, they wont take my blood (O rh neg) as I had a tx in 1998. Would love to give blood...I'm on the donor list, but I'm actually wondering if I'm allowed to be an organ donor if they won't take my blood hmm.

confuzed90 Mon 28-May-12 18:00:38

I have only just been and bought a new plug in air freshner today...damn.
I also have plug socket covers as of my 3 year old who loves sockets, even though he is able to remove the cover. However, I do consider them to be safe as the latch thing inside the plug socket will close again once the cover gets removed. I think they also prevent the temptation for children to stick things into the socket as they can't see the holes

runnindownadream Mon 28-May-12 18:20:28

My dsis (who is a Mner) had a house fire which started in the middle of the night by the food processor. It was switched off but plugged in at the wall.

The ONLY thing which saved her and her husbands life was the smoke alarm. The fire service told her the most common fire hazard in the kitchen in the microwave as everyone tends to leave it plugged in for the time.

They move back home next weekend - 6 months after it happened (early Dec) and its been a rough journey but I shudder to think what would have been without that smoke alarm.

confuzed90 Mon 28-May-12 18:33:23

My partner is an electrician runnindownadream and he said that something cant catch fire if its switched off at the socket.
That's scared me now as I leave things such as kitchen appliances and tele switched off at the plug socket but still plugged in

threeleftfeet Mon 28-May-12 18:42:38

I had a hairdryer spontaneously start smoking once. The socket was on, but the hairdryer was switched off (lying on the floor) and it was about 10 minutes or so since I'd used it. Lots of smoke suddenly started coming out of it. I unplugged it and chucked it out the front door.

I'm so glad I was in, I hate to think what would have happened if I was out.

expatinscotland Mon 28-May-12 18:45:47

Plug in air freshners are just rank. Safe your olfactory bulbs by not using them.

Taffeta Mon 28-May-12 19:00:05

When DS was little I got back from food shopping with him screeching for a feed. I dumped the bags in the kitchen very quickly and sat on the sofa to bf him.

5 minutes later the smoke alarm went off. I walked out into the hall and there was a strip of smoke all the way along the hall at head height. I went into the kitchen and saw the fire, threw some water on it,called 999, got DS and legged it.

The fire crew were there in 5 minutes. I had dumped the shopping on top of the hob and in the process one of the heavier bags had switched on the gas. The shopping was on fire.

When the fireman had finished, they surveyed the hob area and told me to remove all the things by the side of it - utensils, kitchen roll etc, as they are all a fire hazard.

All obvious stuff but exactly the sort of thing that flees your mind when you have little ones and are sleep deprived.

bunnynose Mon 28-May-12 20:36:47

For those of you who want to know why socket covers can be dangerous, have a look at this website and watch the videos:

SkinnyVanillaLatte Mon 28-May-12 20:47:56

I came home to my tumble drier smoking once - have never since run it if out or in bed.

Brilliant thread - didn't know that about chargers.

SkinnyVanillaLatte Mon 28-May-12 20:51:37

Crystal items on windowsills can magnify the sunlight to a small point and cause a fire,I believe.

I implore all parents, as far as possible, to buy their baby/toddler a seat on flights when going on holiday.

Doing some research for a uni project, I got lost in the internet, as you do, and stumbled upon a forum for pilots/cabin crew. Being nosey, I had a read, and one thread was asking people's opinions on so called "lap children" i.e; kids sharing a seat with a parent.

A lot seemed to be really against it, so I did some more digging, as I was curious as to why airlines allow it if it's so bad.

This is an article explaining some of the reasons: clicky

And this is the article that the previous link cites on occasion:

From a member of cabin crew

I realize, not everyone can afford to buy their DC's a seat, but if it's something you could comfortably afford, please consider it. There are few aircraft accidents, but there are aborted takeoffs, and there are rough landings.

RumpledTitSkin Mon 28-May-12 21:30:57

I have a few that I'm a bit anal about;

Trampolines. Still suffer with my back from a bounce gone wrong 30 years ago.

Grapes and all choky possibilities.

Closing doors at bedtime. Would stop smoke spreading if there was a fire.

Having a mobile phone upstairs.

Unplugging everything I can reach at bedtime.

Checking there are no fingers in the car doors before I shut them.

I have hundreds more blush

I had no idea about the drowning thing, that's terrifying.

RumpledTitSkin Mon 28-May-12 21:32:27

Oh, and for god's sake, do not ever chuck a wet towel on a chip pan fire. Sorry, just read that further down. Recipe for explosion.

hiddenhome Mon 28-May-12 21:37:57

Watch out for cyclists on roundabouts. I've nearly hit two this week, just by not seeing them. Too busy watching out for cars, but not cyclists. It must be the hot weather and more people cycling these days.

NannyPlumIsMyMum Mon 28-May-12 21:38:33

YYY to insancerre -
Please read the website Fatally Flawed wrt socket covers - sockets are far safer without covers

Sidge Mon 28-May-12 21:38:47

Please please PLEASE do a first aid course, including basic life support. I truly believe that everyone should know basic first aid especially if you're a parent.

And get smoke alarms. They are one of the most valuable things you can ever buy.

NannyPlumIsMyMum Mon 28-May-12 21:40:10

Sorry bunnynose you already linked.

Holidaymaker Mon 28-May-12 21:48:52

Marshmallows. If someone chokes on a marshmallow it is virtually impossible to get it out by either the back slap or heimlich. As they are soft to start with, once in the mouth the moisture makes them swell.

It is the only food I have never allowed my child to eat as I consider them lethal.

BlastOff Mon 28-May-12 21:53:26

I thought you were meant to put a wet tea towel on a chip pan fire?? What do you do then?

Holidaymaker Mon 28-May-12 21:54:15

Also, be aware that a person choking often will not cough and if they don't cough it is because the object is well and truly stuck and should be viewed as more serious than someone coughing and spluttering.

BlastOff Mon 28-May-12 21:55:59

And those frankfurter type sausages are just the right size to be choked on and apparently are the most frequently choked on food stuff in the US (not sure about the UK). I don't let the dc have them.

And they won't be having marshmallows when they are old enough either now. We were never allowed peanuts as children for that reason too.

Frakiosaurus Mon 28-May-12 21:58:16

<paranoid now>

I did have a really good piece of advice but it's now been displaced.

RumpledTitSkin Mon 28-May-12 21:59:53

Blast off, the cloth would have to be damp, not wet. If you soaked it and threw it over, you may as well chuck water on it.

Best not use a chip pan at all I reckon, lethal things.

BlastOff Mon 28-May-12 22:01:14

Ahh, I see, thanks for clearing that up Rumpled. No, I don't have a chip pan, but good to know!

BertieBotts Mon 28-May-12 22:03:14

I hate chip pans <shudder>

However, I thought a wet towel was the thing to do as well - of course damp rather than wet makes sense but all I remember from that ad campaign a few years back was - get a tea towel, get it wet and throw over the fire.

I'm sure the wringing out part must have been on there, but I'm not sure I'd remember it - would you remember all instructions if you were panicking? sad

inapickle2012 Mon 28-May-12 22:03:58

After reading some of this thread and hearing about several tragic fires in recent months I wonder if a Mumsnet web chat with someone from the Fire Service might be a good idea?

I went shopping for a new smoke alarm recently and was baffled by the different types. I felt a little emotionally blackmailed into buying the most expensive one. I would really appreciate some advice on this, and other fire related stuff.....

I know Mumsnet is a wealth of useful information- but it would be great to hear from the professionals IMHO.

wereofftoseethewizard Mon 28-May-12 22:09:53

Sausages. I know of a 3 year old who died choking on a sausage. My ds has them but I cut them up very small.
Does anyone know what age you can stop cutting grapes?

maxmissie Mon 28-May-12 22:13:44

- Always make sure you take a set of front door keys upstairs with you at bedtime so you can unlock and get out of the front door if there is a fire or any other reason you need to get out quickly.

We never used to do this and then I saw a fire safety ad on TV which showed somebody locked in their house unable to unlock the front door and get out as they didn't have the keys with them and the keys were in another room that they couldn't get to because of the fire.

I know some people have yales only and this doesn't apply to them but if you have a lock that needs a key to lock/unlock it (as we have) then keep your keys with you over night.

- If you only have locks that need a key to lock/unlock them on your front or back door, if you are in the back garden nicely sunning yourself or upstairs or even just in another part of the house, make sure that either the locks are locked or that you get a yale as well - otherwise your kids can just wander out of the house or someone could just wander in.

- If you go upstairs or to another part of the house away from your back door or patio doors the same applies, always lock them - my mum nipped upstairs with some ironing for literally two minutes and came down to discover someone had come in through the unlocked patio door and nicked her handbag, mobile phone and other small items. I know it seems overcautious but the same thing happened to my MIL as well.

- I always take my mobile phone with me upstairs or to the loo when on my own in the house or on my own with the kids so if I fell or something happened to me I can use the phone or get the kids to quickly.

Will be unplugging all chargers from now on.

Sirzy Mon 28-May-12 22:15:05

Inapickle - phone your local fire station, they will send someone out to do a fire safety risk assessment for you and provide and put up fire alarms in the best places.

I am pretty sure it's a service available nationwide.

treefumaster Mon 28-May-12 22:15:47

Another major cause of fires - the lights in understairs cupboards. They often get left on and then people throw in old stuff into their understairs cupboard (like old newspapers or maybe old clothes on their way to the charity shop) - if they come into contact with each other which is possible because of the odd angles of the cupboard and the general shove-it-all-in nature of an understairs cupboard a fire can result.

I don't actually like the fact that my insurance requires me to have a mortice lock on my front door that is key operated from the inside. I wanted a knob-operated one iykwim, so I could get out quickly in case of fire. But that's not allowed by insurance companies because that would allow a burglar to get out easily with stolen goods. I would rather a burglar could get out than a family couldn't get out but the insurance cos won't budge on that. I think the fire brigades people should launch a campaign on that against the insurance companies.

IAmBooybilee Mon 28-May-12 22:16:33

another one that might seem patronising but isn't meant to be. i live in an estate with about a million children in it. reversing has to be a very slow process because they literally just dart out across the road and some as young as 2 or 3! they have no road sense. i dont want to get into the whole "parents need to watch them better" because the fact of the matter is that there is always that risk of a child running behind you (i've been so close to bumping a child on a few occasions even when i was going dead slow).

so very slow reversing, checking all your mirrors and blind spots constantly and telling any children who are about that you will be reversing out now so to stay on the footpath.

treefumaster Mon 28-May-12 22:17:54

I was shocked by that camping tragedy too. I just did not know that those things gave off carbon monoxide which sounds really stupid but I just didn't realise.

ChippingInNeedsCoffee Mon 28-May-12 22:27:44

Cot bumpers sad I can't believe the number of people still using ones with ties. Dangerous things.

lionheart Mon 28-May-12 22:35:06

Had fire-service do a safety check on our house.

1. Take your keys and mobile to bed with you and keep them in a place that is easy to remember. The former is obvious but the phone thing is because if there is a fire, you might not get the landline to work.

2. The second thing they told us is to make sure that all of the downstairs doors are closed at night. Modern doors are designed to be fire resistant and can give you an extra fifteen minutes protection (time to phone for help and figure out the best way out).

Rollmops Mon 28-May-12 23:09:08

Someone asked when is it safe to stop cutting up grapes; well, I chocked on one at grand wise age of 24 and very close call it was too. Absolutely horrifying, still makes me whimper when I think about it.

As for the fire assessment - around here (SW) you must be 75 or over to qualify.

Solo Mon 28-May-12 23:11:49

IME, testing your smoke alarm regularly by pressing the button isn't enough. My old ones worked fine when I tested them by pressing the button, but when I burned the toast and there was smoke everywhere ~ nothing! so I got an incense stick and put it up under the alarm in full smoke and it didn't work. Pressed the button and it did. Clearly, they must wear out. Anyway, I replaced mine.

ReneandGeorgetteMagritte Mon 28-May-12 23:40:17

get an escape ladder if you don't have any easy route out of upstairs and make a fire plan which the children know and understand.

DontWannaBeAMug Mon 28-May-12 23:54:05

I have first hand experience of dryers causing fires. So so scary. We used to leave it on and go out for the whole day. Sometimes leaving teens upstairs in their rooms, music on, oblivious to the world around them.

One day, we put the dryer on and shut the kitchen door. 20 minutes or so later there was a funny smell - like plastic burning. Couldn't work out where it was coming from. We then saw smoke coming from under the kitchen door - opened it up and there it was - dryer fully aflame. Thank god we had extinguishers in the house - thank god we were actually IN at the time.

Never used one since.

Thumbwitch Tue 29-May-12 00:05:04

Re. mortise locks - my Dad leaves the key in his, but turned half way so it can't be easily either pulled or pushed out. Then he doesn't have to fumble for it. Obviously this is still a burglary risk to some extent, if there are glass panels in the door and they have the right equipment; but most burglars would sooner break into an easier house unless they're after something specific.
And, tbh, if they want to get into your house and you've mortise-locked the door, they'll break a window. (Been there, had that happen sad)

golemmings Tue 29-May-12 00:05:27

And another one: dummies.

Children with teeth can bite the ends off and they can easily pose a choking hazard or so I learned on a St John's paediatric first aid course.

DontWannaBeAMug Tue 29-May-12 00:07:08

I was digging my ears out earlier with a cotton bud and the cotton wool came off the end and got stuck deep inside my ear (so far in it couldn't be seen). I eventually managed to get it out with a pair of tweezers but that could quite easily have been an a&e job.

BertieBotts Tue 29-May-12 00:22:43

You shouldn't be putting a cotton bud that deeply into your ear in the first place, though.

BackforGood Tue 29-May-12 00:55:07

Just marking spot, as have only read first page so far, and learnt a lot already - want to come back and read rest tomorrow.

Thanks SlightlyJaded for starting it. smile

PoppyWearer Tue 29-May-12 05:58:57

Sorry if these have been done already:

- If you have a smart phone, download the Meningitis Trust symptom checker app

- If you have problems installing the blind cleats to make blind cords safe (we would need to drill holes to screw them in) you can buy little round winders that clip onto the cords and wind up, keeping the cord out of harms' way, but they then unclip easily when you want to pull the blinds up

wishiwasonholiday Tue 29-May-12 06:07:28

I just had some new blinds fitted and the company fitted special safety bits on them do they stay fixed to the side if the window there's no loose cord for kids to get hold of.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Tue 29-May-12 07:36:34

I can confirm from personal experience you shouldn't leave things plugged in. I left my food processor plugged in, switched on at the wall but not in use iyswim. 48 hours later it caught fire. The damage to the kitchen was pretty bad, the smoke damage affected the entire bungalow. The firemen said we had minutes to get out! Some detectors woke us up - we were asleep in bed. Cannot state clearly enough - check your smoke detectors weekly, change the batteries every year. The fireman said to us unplug everything. Have your escape routes planned. Anything plugged in, even with the switch off, has current to it and could catch fire. The only thing left plugged in in my house now is the fridge/freezer! This happened 6 months ago and we're about to move home. Scary as it was, since it was only DH and myself, we were able to walk the front door. It could have been fatal.

expatinscotland Tue 29-May-12 09:29:28

Get a fire blanket for your kitchen.

"Anything plugged in, even with the switch off, has current to it and could catch fire."

This is not true unless the plug is faulty.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Tue 29-May-12 10:28:07

That's what the fireman told us after we had the fire. It's assumed the food processor had an electrical fault hence the fire but we had no way of knowing that prior to it catching fire. Unless its been PAT tested how would you know?

OddBoots Tue 29-May-12 10:34:09

I think it depends which switch you mean. There will still be current if the appliance switch is off but not if the switch at the plug is off.

BertieBotts Tue 29-May-12 10:36:55

Yes but if the plug socket is faulty, then there could still be current is I think what she's saying.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Tue 29-May-12 10:45:07

Ah right. Well bearing in mind it was 3am and my house had just burnt down in essence he said the best thing to do was pull all the plugs out at the wall which is what we now do smile

I was just talking about this thread to a friend and she told me that you should never ever mix cleaning products/bleaches/loo cleaners and that the combination of certain cleaning products can give off toxic fumes shock

Can anyone verify?

cinnamonnut Tue 29-May-12 13:52:07

Holidaymaker marshmallows don't "swell" in the throat, it's their bulk in general that makes them a choking hazard.

Thumbwitch Tue 29-May-12 13:55:08

yes, Slightlyjaded - you should never mix chlorine-based bleaches with any sodium hydroxide (soda) based cleaners as they can give off chlorine gas, which is toxic in an enclosed environment and in large doses.

Frakiosaurus Tue 29-May-12 15:20:24

That's what I was going to post! Never mix drain cleaner and bleach.

Nice to see this has been moved so it won't disappear smile

AKMD Tue 29-May-12 18:29:26

Definitely read up on what drowning actually looks like. I read a thread about it last year and still missed a child drowning so close to me I could touch her. The pool wasn't deep, she was right next to the steps, three supervising were within 6 feet of her but no one saw it except the parent on the poolside. Absolutely terrifying to think of now; luckily the parent saw it in time and she was fine.

Don't put your child into a carseat wearing a pramsuit, thick coat or lots of layers. The thick clothing will be squashed flat against the straps in the event of an accident, making the straps too loose to contain your child.

jazzchickens Tue 29-May-12 18:53:48

Great thread - I didn't know that about the chargers so will be switching them off from now on.

I'm a bit unsure about all other appliances though. Surely things that have digital clocks on them (like the cooker / dvd player etc.) are meant to be left switched on confused

Please could somebody enlighten me before I go round switching everything off.

HaveALittleFaithBaby Tue 29-May-12 18:56:40

As I say, the fireman told me the best thing to do was unplug all appliances when not in use. The fire officer said he often attended fires where microwaves had caught fire. I have battery clocks in rooms where I need a clock!

NickettyNacketty Sat 02-Jun-12 08:34:11

What about TV when if it's unplugged loses all it's settings? Not of major importance obviously when you are preventing fire but a pain to reset. It annoys me that manufacturers make things which need the clock set before they will work.
On a flippant note, are smoke alarms which are fitted to the mains and therefore on all the time a fire hazard?

HaveALittleFaithBaby Sat 02-Jun-12 09:02:09

We're about to move home, one thing I think we might leave plugged in is the Virgin Media box - it won't record if its unplugged! It's up to you obviously but the less you have plugged in, the less risk there is of fire.
The smoke detectors I hadn't really thought about. We had hard wired smoke detectors that woke us up and saved us! I don't think they use much electricity!

Kaloobear Sat 02-Jun-12 09:42:26

This thread is terrifying shock

Can someone clarify about the secondary drowning thing? You can drown even if you got out of the water ages ago? I've been taking 9MO DD to swimming lessons for about a month now and we have to dunk the babies each lesson-only for a second or so but nonetheless, they do go underwater. If she swallows water could she drown afterwards?! I can't tell you how scared this has made me.

Thumbwitch Sat 02-Jun-12 09:51:59

Kaloobear - most babies have a natural breath-holding reflex, and any water they swallow is most likely to go into their stomach, not their lungs. It's water going into their lungs that is the problem - harder to tell with a baby if it's happened but coughing and difficulty breathing would be symptoms.
If you're only dunking your baby rapidly, she'll be almost certainly fine. Google the symptoms for secondary drowning so that you are familiar with them and talk to your swimming instructor next time you go for more reassurance.

PooPooInMyToes Sat 02-Jun-12 10:03:13

Avacardo. How did they get the balloon out?

Kaloobear Sat 02-Jun-12 18:15:42

Thumbwitch thank you-l'll definitely do some more reading. Argh.

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