Healthcare professionals in Dorset are reminding people to take care with and around children during the hot weather.

As well as being at risk of dehydration and sun damage, children are more at risk of accidents around the home when the weather is warmer. Falls account for the majority of non-fatal accidents around the home, and in Dorset we have seen an increase in toddlers falling from open windows who have subsequently required treatment during the warm weather.

Wendy Thorogood, Designated Nurse Consultant for Children at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, said, “More than two million children under the age of 15 experience accidents in and around the home every year. Children are naturally curious, and their spirit of adventure may well lead them into danger. Their small stature may also prevent them from seeing possible dangers around the home, or from adults noticing them in potentially dangerous situations.

“Most accidents happen at times children are likely to be at home – between the late afternoon and early evening, during the summer, school holidays and at the weekends. Changes to routine, distractions and inadequate supervision can contribute to accidents, as can a lack of familiarity with surroundings, for example if you’re visiting holiday accommodation, friends or family.

“Many accidents are preventable through increased awareness of what children are doing, and simple safety improvements around the home. If you have your windows open during the hot weather, ensure they are not wide enough that a child can crawl through, and that they are held in place with a child lock or safety latch.”

The NHS Choices website offers tips on ways to stay cool during hot weather, and the StayWell in Dorset website has advice of how to stay safe in high temperatures, and where to go if you need medical advice.