Health and safety

Sepsis

Sepsis is life threatening. It can be hard to spot. If you think you or someone you look after has symptoms of sepsis, call 999 or go to the emergency department. Trust your instincts.

Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection. It happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s own tissues and organs. You cannot catch sepsis from another person. Sepsis is sometimes called septicaemia or blood poisoning.

Call 999 or go to the emergency department if you or your child has symptoms of sepsis.

Symptoms of sepsis in babies or young children

  • Blue, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue.
  • A rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis.
  • Difficulty breathing (you may notice grunting noises or their stomach sucking under their ribcage), breathlessness or breathing very fast.
  • A weak, high-pitched cry that’s not like their normal cry.
  • Not responding like they normally do, or not interested in feeding or normal activities.
  • Being sleepier than normal or difficult to wake.

They may not have all these symptoms.

Symptoms of sepsis in adults and older children

  • Acting confused, slurred speech or not making sense.
  • Blue, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue.
  • A rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis.
  • Difficulty breathing, breathlessness or breathing very fast.

They may not have all these symptoms.

Health and safety at home

Blind cords

The RoSPA Make It Safe campaign, aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers of looped cords among families with small children.

Most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom and occur in children between 16 months and 36 months old. These toddlers are mobile, but their heads still weigh proportionately more than their bodies compared to adults and their muscular control is not yet fully developed, which makes it harder for them to free themselves if they become entangled. In addition, toddlers’ windpipes have not yet fully developed and they suffocate far more quickly.

To reduce the risk posed by looped cords, including blind cords, cords should be kept out of the reach of children.

How to make your blinds safe

  • Install blinds that do not have a cord, particularly in a child’s bedroom.
  • Do not place a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window.
  • Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and kept out of reach.
  • Tie up the cords or use one of the many cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available.
  • Do not hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on the cot or bed.
  • Don’t hang drawstring bags where a small child could get their head through the loop of the drawstring.

RoSPA does not recommend that cords are cut, even as a short-term solution. It is advisable that any action taken on the blind cord is a permanent one which will take the cord out of reach of children.

Trampoline safety

Trampolines are great fun for all the family, but they can cause serious injuries if not used safely.

Children using trampolines can suffer from broken bones, and in the most serious cases can suffer head and neck injuries if simple safety rules aren’t followed.

That doesn’t mean your children shouldn’t use trampolines. By following our simple safety tips most accidents can be avoided and trampolines can safely be used for hours of fun and exercise.

Top safety tips for trampolines

  • Only one person should use the trampoline at a time; most accidents are caused by people not following this simple rule.
  • Only use a garden trampoline if it has a securely fitted safety net and safety padding.
  • Children under the age of 6 should only use trampolines that are designed for their age.
  • Trampolines should be placed on soft and stable ground with a 2.5 metre safety area all around it which is clear of hazards like trees, fences and washing lines.
  • Always supervise children, and remain alert in case something happens.
  • Teach children how to bounce safely – join a local trampoline club or sign-up for trampoline lessons.
  • Never go under the trampoline when someone else is jumping.
  • Don’t bounce or jump to get off the trampoline.
  • Don’t try risky stunts – somersaults may seem like fun, but can lead to serious head and neck injuries.
  • Always bounce in the middle and under control. Take extra care if it’s been raining.