Saturday 22 October 2016

It's potty how capital's kids keep us bogged down, say firefighters

Published 06/06/2016 | 05:21

Firefighters in London have to flush out trapped youngsters about four times a day
Firefighters in London have to flush out trapped youngsters about four times a day

An average of four children in London a day get stuck in objects like railings, potties and toilet seats, according to new figures.

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In 2015 in the capital alone there were 1,499 incidents of under 18s being stuck or trapped and 7,526 call-outs to children in the last five years.

The London Fire Brigade released the numbers ahead of Child Safety Week and is asking parents to dial 999 only in an emergency.

It was also revealed that some of the most unusual call-outs from the last five years include rescuing a child with a toy train stuck on a finger and removing a toilet seat wedged on a child's head.

The brigade spent £488,674 on call-outs to under 18s who accidentally locked themselves in rooms or got trapped in objects last year.

This figure is based on £326 per call-out, which is the rate used to recover costs charged for services such as repeated calls to lift releases and false alarms from automatic systems.

Mark Hazelton, the brigade's community safety group manager, said: "I'm a father so I know it's impossible to watch your children every second of the day but with a bit of extra forethought and careful supervision it's far better to prevent youngsters getting in a tight spot in the first place.

"Many of the incidents we get called to could be avoided with a little bit of common sense.

"I would ask parents to keep an eye on their children and only call 999 if it is a real emergency."

The brigade also released details of some of its most unusual child rescues in the last five years.

Crews have been called out to help:

:: A child with its head stuck in a potty;

:: A child with a finger caught in a tumble dryer;

:: A child with a foot stuck in a manhole cover;

:: A child with its hand stuck in a door;

:: A baby with a leg stuck in a cot;

:: A 13 year old stuck in a baby swing in a park;

:: A child trapped under a slide;

:: A toilet seat stuck on a child's head;

:: A child with a toy train stuck on a finger;

:: A child with a knee stuck in a park merry-go-round;

Child Safety Week takes place between June 6 and 12.

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