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Avoid 'Potty' Incidents Warning from London Fire Brigade

23 July 2014
 July 23, 2014

Fire chiefs have revealed the Brigade’s most unusual child rescues to encourage parents to keep an eye on their kids during the summer holidays.

The warning comes as last week, firefighters were called to rescue a child in Bromley with its head stuck in a potty.

The Brigade has spent nearly £240,000* in the last five years rescuing children who accidentally get locked in rooms or get themselves trapped in things.  Examples include  being stuck up a tree, wedged in a statue and trapped under a slide. There were 1,508 incidents involving  young  people getting stuck on or in things during 2013/14, and 8,189 incidents over the last five years.  That’s around five call-outs a day.

In the last five years the Brigade’s crews have been called out to rescue:

  • A child with its head stuck in a potty in Dulwich last week (July  2014)
  • A child with its head stuck under a table in Kingston in 2009
  • A child trapped under a slide in Islington in 2011
  • A child with its leg wedged in a statue in a car park in Kensington in 2011
  • A 13 year old stuck in a baby swing in a park in Havering in 2011
  • A child with a cone stuck on its head in Enfield in 2013
  • A child with a toilet seat stuck on its head in Hackney in 2010
  • A child with its arm stuck in a TV speaker in Lewisham in 2012
  • A child with a toy train stuck on its finger in Brent in 2012
  • A child with its leg stuck in a park merry-go-round in Dulwich in 2009

The Brigade’s Third Officer Dave Brown said: “Kids are always crawling about and exploring so accidents are bound to happen, but when we are releasing children from under tables and out of  tv speakers it diverts our attention from other emergencies. Many of the incidents we get called to could be avoided with a little bit of common sense.  During this summer holiday, I would  ask parents to keep an eye on their children and only call 999 if it is a real emergency.”

Last year the Brigade dealt with:

  • Around 500 children being locked inside toilets and bathrooms/li>
  • 133 children being stuck in trees/li>
  • 50 children locked in cars/li>
  • 24 children with a hand stuck in a letter box

For further fire safety advice to parents of young children visit: http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/AdviceForParentsOfYoungChildren.asp

*It costs around £290 plus VAT to send one appliance to incident. The notional cost to the Brigade of £240,000  has been calculated on the basis of an attendance to one of these incidents costing £290. This rate (£290) is the rate used to recover  costs charged for services, such as repeated calls to shut in lift releases and false alarms from automatic systems.

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