Survey results released by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to mark the start of Child Safety Week 2015 (1st-7th June) have revealed that the after-school rush is the most dangerous time of day for children.
More than 50% of serious road accidents involving children occur between the hours of 3pm and 7pm, while children are also twice as likely to suffer from a serious burn during a families ‘teatime'.
Dr Asif Rahman, consultant in paediatric emergency medicine at St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, welcomed Child Safety Week as a way of raising awareness of the simple things parents can do to protect their children from injury.
3,500 children were killed or seriously injured on the roads between 3pm and 7pm in the five years from 2008-12.
Source: Child Accident Prevention Trust
“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. That is why campaigns like Child Safety Week are so important," said Dr Rahman.
Babies and toddlers are most at risk of burns, making up more than half of all child burn victims. Hot drinks are the biggest danger, followed by the iron, kettle, cooker and the bath.
"Children suffer more serious burns and road accidents during the after-school rush than at any other time of day," said Katrina Phillips, chief executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust.
"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."
If you'd like to find out more about Child Safety Week, or discover practical advice on keeping your child safe, visit the Child Accident Prevention Trust's website.