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Coach Loads of Catastrophe

Imagine two 50-seater buses. In each pair of seats a crying child is comforted by a white-faced parent. They screech to a halt at A+E.  A few minutes later another full 40-seater bus rolls up and its cargo of shaking parents and weeping children sweep in. This goes on every day, including weekends, for the entire year.

Luckily for the NHS, the 70 children with suspected poisoning plus their traumatised parents, who arrive at British A +Es every day don’t all go to the same hospital. Nor do they turn up at the same time. But because they don’t, it’s easy to underestimate the volume of family misery that poisonings and suspected poisonings can generate.

The means of poisoning are only limited by the inquisitiveness of the average toddler. In other words infinite.  Medicines, booze, garden and car products will all contribute to the statistic.  An alarming 1 in 8 of the admissions will have come close to swallowing a cleaning product – household ‘stuff’ so normal we hardly notice them.

Great strides have been made in accident prevention and globally the UK is one of the safest places for children, but those 70 daily A+E trips are a vivid reminder of hope far we have still to go.

And a vindication, if any were needed, of the importance of awareness raising. A timely reminder on the eve of Child Safety Week of the need to keep parents and carers alert to the common-place dangers all around them.

Child Safety Week is a huge mass participation event – and the Bitrex Taste test is a key part of the fun. And while we’re encouraging people to share the fun even more widely this year by up loading the Taste test moment at #BitrexTasteTest, we’ll never lose sight of the 70 good reasons for supporting this event.