50 Key Messages Staying safe at home for 0 – 5 year olds

Staying safe at home

Taken from the Tusla Parenting24Seven website https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/0-5years/

Things you can do to keep your child safe:

Childproof your home.

This is especially important when your child is learning to walk and becoming more mobile.

Safety in the Kitchen and Living room:


  • Be careful with hot drinks – a cup of tea or coffee (with milk) spilling over a baby or young child can result in severe scalds 15 minutes after the drink has been made.
  • Never heat your baby’s bottle in the microwave: the milk can be heated unevenly and could scald your baby’s mouth. Reheat in a bowl of warm water.
  • Reduce the temperature setting of water heaters and/or install thermostatic mixing valves on individual taps.


  • Young children have small airways, when means that it doesn’t take much to block their windpipe which carries air to their lungs.
  • Always supervise your children when they are playing. Watch out for older children sharing unsuitable objects with your younger child.
  • Ensure that any food that young children are eating are small bite size pieces to avoid choking.

Safety in the Bathroom:


Babies can drown in just a few centimetres of water – very quickly and without noise or struggle. They need constant supervision when around water so make sure they are never left alone while bathing – not even for a few seconds.

Medicine and Poisons:

Store all medicines in child proof containers and well out of the reach of children. All medicines are potentially harmful to children.
See also www.poisons.ie

Driveways and Gardens

  • Young children are especially at risk in driveways and carparks. They don’t yet realise how dangerous cars and bikes are and can get highly absorbed in whatever they are doing including chasing a ball behind a car!
  • Always hold your child’s hand near cars, even in your own driveway. Explain why it is important that they hold your hand.
  • Check and double-check where your child is before you reverse your vehicle. Reversing drivers find it very difficult to see small children behind their cars.
  • Children should always be supervised when using outdoor play equipment.

* information taken from Lifestart Foundation Keep Safe Programme www.lifestartfoundation.org and HSE Child Safety Awareness Programme (CSAP) www.hse.ie/childsafety

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.


The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.


In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  


Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  


In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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