Although I'm known mainly as a baby, family and branding photographer, headshots is also an area of photography that I offer and really enjoy!
Outdoor or studio?
Studio sessions are done in the home studio, with backdrops and off camera lighting, which gives a very corporate, professional look. Alternatively, you may wish to have an outdoor headshot, with soft natural light and beautiful green backgrounds - this gives a more friendly, approachable feel to the picture. Whichever you'd prefer just let me know and we can plan accordingly.
What to wear
Colour is really important, along with pattern - or lack of! Choose an outfit that doesn't distract the eye from your face, so little or no pattern is preferred, solid colours work well, along with colours that you know work well with your skin tone. If you're unsure which colour(s) work well for you, take a look at this website, which has some great information.
As headshots are just that - usually from your torso upwards, it's always best to choose tops with long or 3/4 length sleeves and outfits that are well tailored to your body and not baggy or loose fitting.
What to bring
Apart from an extra tie, sweater or jacket, you'll just need to bring some styling products such as your brush/comb and lip salve/gloss (chapped or sore lips need to be avoided!) - and of course, a relaxed, confident smile!
Preparing for your shoot
Before the shoot there are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the session.
#1 Plan ahead - think about where you are going to use your headshot images and let me know the look and feel that you are after.
#2 Get your outfit ready - try this on a few days before the shoot, make sure there are no gaps in shirts/blouses, they fit well and add an accessory if you feel this compliments the look. Don't leave it until one hour before the shoot, to then find out you don't feel happy with the outfit - feeling stressed or sweaty is not conducive to a good shoot!
#3 Drink lots the days before your shoot - clear bright skin always looks great and it's amazing how drinking lots of water and eating healthily affects your skin.
For March and April (only) I am going to be offering Mummy and Me Photo Shoots. This is a new shoot specifically designed for mums and their kids (from 0+), to capture precious images of whatever age and stage you're at. You may wonder why I’m offering these shoots? Please read on...
More often than not, mums will be the ones behind the camera as their little one grows up, capturing those fun trips out and recording all the ‘firsts’ that need to be documented. But looking through the iphone the pictures will be mainly images of the little one playing, eating, laughing, running – none with mum, or if there are some they are the selfie shots, which taking a good one seems to been a mythical world that only a few know how to do (ideas on a postcard please!!)! But you were there! You wiped those tears and cuddled those fears away, played those games and read that book a thousand times!
So mums, please book yourselves in for a Mummy and Me Photo Shoot – give you and your child something tangible to show your bond, your stage in life, that you were there and you loved every moment! I would love to capture the memories that will last a lifetime, so to book your shoot in please message me today.
If you think this would make a lovely gift for someone then Gift Vouchers can be purchased and delivered in time for Mothers Day (27th March) – just send me a message and I can sort this for you.
1. Choose the right time for them
As a photographer golden hour (1-2 hours before sunset/after sunrise) is always my preference for shooting outdoors, as the light is warm and creeps through the trees to give a beautiful backlit glow. However, this is not always suitable, especially in the middle on summer time, when this time can be between 6/7pm. So book your session when you know your child(ren) will be at their best, so maybe after lunch when they have lots of energy or after dinner time when it will be a treat to be going outdoors instead of having bath time. Tired children seldom want to participate if they are lacking energy, so think about nap times and feeding times.
3. Be patient
Sometimes children take a little while to feel at ease in front of the camera and not adding pressure is crucial to bringing the child around to actually wanting to have their picture taken. Sometimes I start with the parents, or the older siblings, so the younger ones can see it’s nothing to be scared of. By the end of the shoot I normally find the children are directing the shots and telling me what to do! If the children need a break, that’s OK too. I encourage parents to bring snacks, treats as bribery and definitely some water as they usually end up doing lots of running around! So if the children need a snack break we’ll set them up with food and a drink and then I’ll do some parent shots while we wait. Normally when the focus is diverted away from the child they are more than willing to get back involved after snack time!
4. Be prepared
Before the photo shoot I send my clients a Pre-Shoot Guide and this gives all the information in terms of what to wear, what to bring and what to expect at their shoot. Planning your outfits and colour scheme will help you feel comfortable on the day and confident in what you are wearing. Don’t leave it to the day of the shoot to think about this and always bring back up clothes for those unexpected moments! Bringing a few accessories can also be fun, such as a hat, scarf or blaser – just to give some different looks to the pictures. I don’t encourage my clients to bring change of outfits as there are usually no areas to change discreetly and also uses up precious shooting time! Checking the weather too and dress for the temperature and season will also help. Cold or wet children are unlikely to be happy, so just think ahead in terms of your planning.
Above all, have fun and enjoy the session! We are capturing moments and precious memories for you to love and cherish for years to come!
For more information or to book your outdoor shoot, please click below.
If you have ever had a Resolution that has been broken within a few weeks, you are not alone, I have had many – cutting out chocolate, meat, alcohol and other various aspirations I think on the 31st December that sound like a good idea! But one idea that didn’t seem too far reaching or unachievable was three years ago, almost to the day, when I wrote a very simple Facebook post saying ‘I’m hoping to read a book a month in 2018 – where to start?! Can anyone recommend a good read?’ From this post I was given a number of book recommendations and a couple of people mentioned that they also wanted to do this and the idea formed to create a Book Club, followed by a flurry of several other people asking to join! So within the space of a day Book Club was formed, with a group of lovely ladies.
We were all in the same boat, having never been to a Book Club before and unsure what the set up should be. Having asked around a few experienced Book Clubbers and looking online, we decided to meet on a monthly basis (some Clubs just meet termly) and each month a member of the Club would host, so that it would not be too burdensome on any one person. The host provided wine and dessert and a list of around 5-6 books they would like to read. The group would vote on one book and we would then read for the coming month. I soon found that other people’s tastes in books were very different to mine and this led to a totally new library of books growing on my bookshelf!
January 2018 started with the first meeting and the very important task of naming the Club was decided unanimously as Prosecco and Paperback (P&P)! It was here that book number 1 was chosen and we were off to a good start – A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman. We all loved this book and rated it highly and the following month read another brilliant read, Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – we were off to a good start!
I read books I would never have considered reading, pushing comfort zones, boundaries and challenging my own reading rut that I had found myself in. Many times the Club was very divided in opinion about a book (we each rated the book out of 10 and then produced an average score for each read) and this was so interesting to hear other people’s opinions of how they interpreted a story, or found various characters.
After a few months we were in the swing of it and everyone was loving the social interaction, always allowing time for chatting, sharing and catching up at the start of each meeting.
So next month it is back to me again to choose the book for the group to read (the ‘host’ tends to choose 1-3 books now and decides on the night which one to go for), back on Zoom again, but I know that even when there are many uncertain things happening around us, the friends at P&P are always there to bring a smile to my face, challenge me and encourage me to get my nose into a book each month, to slip into a world of words that will transport me to new and exciting places.
So if you are contemplating a New Years Resolution this coming January may I challenge you to start reading (if you are anything like me, I had not read a book in years since having children!), or better still, start a Book Club - you won't regret it! You don't need many people, you don't need to make it a chore, you don't need to meet as often as we do, but having a group of ladies (or gents!) that meet up every single month is really pretty special!
If you would like to know the books we have read and the ratings (out of 10) we gave each book, please see below:
A man called Ove - 9
Eleanor Oliphant - 6
Lady Chatterleys lover - 2
The little big things - 7.5
Predictably irrational - 5
The hypnotists love story - 7
The long forgotten - 9
The sister - 7.5
The wife between us - 8.5
The cows - 4
This is going to hurt - 9
Nine perfect strangers - 7.5
Becoming Michelle Obama - ?
All my friends are superheroes - 6
Dear Mrs bird - 6
Little fires everywhere - 8.5
The hunting party - 8
Vox - 6
Summer of impossible things - 7
The seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - 7
The man who didn’t call - 9
Olive Kitteridge - 5
My sister the serial killer - 7
Ask again yes - 7
The family upstairs - 8
The binding - 6
The silent patient - 9.5
The dry - 8
Sometimes I lie - 6
The vanishing half - 6.5
The flat share - 4
The midnight library - 9
Quite - 6
The Thursday murder club - TBC
If you need some inspiration of what to read there are loads of resources online, including lovely Helen in Marlow who has a super Instagram account called @Bestbookforward and a blog https://www.bestbookforward.org/, Reese Witherspoon also has a great Book Club on Instagram called Hello Sunshine, with lots of inspirational books to read. Also, the longstanding Richard and Judy Book Club is always helpful, and includes a number of books that we have read at P&P.
So for now, I wish you
happy reading and a Happy New Year!
We booked the holiday with Canterbury Travel, 13 months prior to our trip actually taking place. This was a four day tour to Luosto, Finland and our one was called the Magical Interlude Tour. We flew out of Gatwick airport on Friday 20th December with British Airways and flew to Rovaniemi. The flight took about 2.5 hours and as it was solely a Canterbury Travel tour, there were lots of games on-board, the flight deck was decorated with tinsel and fairy lights, and the crew were in particularly fun and mischievous moods! This set the scene really well for the start of the trip and got everyone into a fun festive spirit.
When we arrived in Luosto each family was each taken their accommodation. We opted to stay in a log cabin, which was a good size (as little time was spent actually in it) and had appropriate facilities such as a log burner, sauna and boot dying cupboard. Staying in a log cabin meant that for breakfast and dinner we would grab a sledge (as they are everywhere so you just pick up any one to use) and walk to the allotted restaurant. For those who didn’t want to go outside too much (as it was -21 the night before we got there!) there is the option to stay in a hotel, whereby breakfast and dinner are all within the hotel. My girls loved heading out in the dark morning and evening – as it doesn’t get light until around 11am and then starts to get dark at around 2pm – and so the log cabin was the right choice for our family.
Once we arrived and unpacked we headed to the restaurant and Greg had to take the ‘items’ (these were the code names for the presents from Santa and the girls letters to Santa) and dropped these off to the staff in the pre-arranged location.
This was so special as we were able to feed these gentle giants and then proceeded to walk to the area where we climbed aboard our sledges and we pulled along through the woods by the reindeers! It really was magical and the blankets were welcomed as the temperature had dropped. After a 40 or so minute sleigh ride we then went into a large log cabin for hot refreshments and to meet the reindeer farmer, who told us all there is to know about reindeer – it really was very interesting! After this we walked 100 metres to the restaurant for a lovely hot lunch.
After lunch and as the sun was going down we headed next door to the husky farm – there were over 200 husky dogs, from 8 weeks old upwards, who all lived outdoors in covered pens (apparently the dogs' favourite temperature is -20!!). We went into a tepee for some warm berry juice and the lady who ran the farm told us all about husky dogs and how they run the place – we even met a puppy who I could have quite happily taken home with me!! We then headed off to our own husky ride – Greg was standing at the back of the sledge, while me and the girls sat on it and he steered six huskies through the woods! We followed the guide on her skidoo and with a head torch and six eager dogs we were off and hurtled through the dark woods – it was fast and amazing and to my surprise the girls absolutely loved it and laughed all the way around the track! Once we finished this we all headed back to the coach and through a snow blizzard to the skidoo park, where the children and adults could all have a go – it was a bumpy ride on the skidoos but a lot of fun!
After a busy and fun packed day we got on the coach and headed back to our log cabin, to change and go out for dinner – it certainly built up an appetite and the buffet was lovely with a good variety of options to choose from. Sledging back to the log cabin after the meal, we then all slept very well!
After this we were told that the elf ‘Wendy Wood’, who makes all of the wooden toys, needed each family to come and help her clear all the sawdust from her home and the family with the most sawdust would be the winners....! We were then taken by skidoo and sledge up to Wendy Woods house and our family was called up first to go into her house, with our big boot bag, and collect the sawdust. The girls were totally up for this and were looking forward to being the winning family!! When we got into the house an elf met us and led us up the stairs where we suddenly met Mrs Claus, who was funny and friendly and chatted to us for a while, and then got the girls to so some magic and the book case moved to reveal a door and through the door was another elf! We followed the elf back down the stairs and suddenly there was the man himself, Santa Claus! The girls were so shocked and were the most polite I have ever known them to be!! He had their letters (that they had sent up the chimney two weeks previous) and talked through their lists and gave them each a gift (which we had to put into the boot bag). Another door opened and there was Tricky Dicky to meet us and take us back outside and to tell us not to tell anyone about the secret – which they loved and proceeded to go outside and tell everyone we had a big bag full of saw dust!! It was so well executed, especially for my daughter who was nervous about the thought of meeting Santa. While the other families had their turns, we played in the snow with other elves.
For us, this was a once in a lifetime, memory making, bucket list ticking adventure and was just amazing – it feels like a dream when I look back at my photos – which I have to add were taken with my iphone as I didn’t want to risk taking my work camera and it being dropped or freezing up in the low temperatures!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it and re-living this amazing trip! I can’t wait to take the girls on more adventures as they grow and feel that this is just the start! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them below.
The McNeil family x
In my job I get to meet so many families - having now photographed over 130 newborns (and counting!) and many toddlers, tots and tweens! I love meeting so many different people and their families, and I love to find out why people want to have the photo shoot – sometimes it’s just to capture a stage in their child’s development, and sometimes it’s to capture images of family members, who maybe live abroad and time together is all the more precious. Whatever your reason, photographs at any stage in life are so incredibly important, as they capture an age and a moment in a persons life which is then preserved forever.
With meeting so many newborns, the baby’s name is one of the biggest decisions that the parents will make once baby arrives, or in my case, before my baby arrived! For my first daughter we had the scan to tell us the gender – as my husband felt he needed to be able to bond with the baby (as he really wanted a girl!), and he had his heart set on the name Darcey. Thankfully I loved this name too, and so when we found out our baby was a girl, she was already named before she was even born! Naming a baby is such a big responsibility and many questions arise when deciding, such as, does it rhyme with anything?, what are the initials, do I know anyone with that name?, what does the name mean? Without realising the meaning of the names of both of my daughter's names (Darcey and Layla) mean 'dark' or 'night' - and funnily enough they were both born late in the night!
Some people name their baby after a relative, or from a film character (I know Elsa and Anna and Charlotte have gone up in popularity over the years!), or from a book character - naming a baby isn't easy and it usually takes a lot of time to decide what name is best! You will be pleased to know that in the UK there aren't as many restrictions as to what you name your baby - in Iceland, for example, there are a list of 3,600 names to choose from - take a look at this short clip to see some of the names that have been blocked in recent years! <click here>
Tiddlywinks Methodist Church Hall. Drop in. 8.30-11.30
Liz Ferris 07799 854535
Little Ace Tennis, Marlow Youth Centre/Methodist Church, various times. https://www.littleacestennis.co.uk/weekly-classes contact Emma Hellewell: 07766386345
Crafty Cooks 99 Newfield Gardens. 10am & 11.15 am Booking essential: Anna Oliver 07789 408869 email@example.com
Tumbling Toddlers Booker Gym Club. Drop in. 10.30-12midday Monday to Thursday and 10.30-12.30 on Fridays Tel: 01494 471566 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hartbeeps Sea Cadets’ Hall, Wethered Rd. 9.30 Happy House – toddling to 4yrs. 10.45 Baby Beeps – sitting to toddling. 12.00 Baby Bells – birth to sitting
Booking essential: Kerraleigh Child 07866 656366 Email: email@example.com
Perform Drama All Saints’ Church Hall, The Causeway. 4pm: 4-7yrs 5pm: 7-12yrs. Booking essential: 020 7255 9120 firstname.lastname@example.org www.perform.org.uk/venue/view?v=48&type=pplus
Marlow Twins Club at Newfield Community Church 10.30am-12noon contact Veronica Leyon email@example.com
Crafty Cooks 99, Newfield Gardens. 10, 11.15 & 1.30pm. Booking essential: Anna Oliver 07789 408869 firstname.lastname@example.org
Marlow Bottom Toddler Group Marlow Bottom Methodist Church Hall. Drop in. 10 – 11.30
Tumbling Toddlers Booker Gym Club. Drop in. 10.15 – 12 midday. 01494 471566 email@example.com
St. Peter’s Babies & Toddlers Pugin Rooms, St. Peter’s Church. 1-3pm Drop in. Jennifer Boyle 07876 211103 www.st-peters-marlow.org.uk/news-events/4587660973
Smarties Toddlers St John's Ambulance HQ, Drop in 9-12 Annie Flavell 07973 528886
Playball Longridge Activity Centre, Quarrywood Road, various times, see website for more information: www.playballkids.com/franchise/marlow
River Life Coffee Morning & Toddler Group Marlow Youth Centre. Drop in. 10.30-12midday. Beryl 07778 177921 riverchurch.org.uk/Groups/311793/We_Love_Marlow.aspx
Teddies Music Group Methodist Church Hall. Drop in. 10am & 11am. 01628 671146 01628 639878 www.teddiesmusicclub.co.uk/sessions/
Jo Jingles Music Marlow Bottom Methodist Church Hall. Drop in. 09.45am. 01494 814174 www.jojingles.com/beaconsfield/timetable
Playball All Saints’ Church Hall, The Causeway. Booking essential. 1.00pm-1.45pm 2-3yrs. 2pm 3-4yrs. firstname.lastname@example.org 07736 405034
Bilinguasing Pugin Rooms, St.Peter’s Church. 9.30 am toddlers & preschoolers. 10.30 babies & early toddlers. bilinguasing.com/spanish-classes-maidenhead-marlow-beaconsfield/ Caireen email@example.com
Marlow School of Dance Liston Hall. 2pm 2-3yrs. 2.45 3-4yrs. 3.30 2-3yrs Booking essential: 07968 983832 marlowschoolofdance.co.uk/
Water Babies Court Garden Leisure Centre. 9.30-10am 4-18months. Drop in. 01628 405200
Moo Music St Mary's Church, Marlow Bottom, see website for times and ages, or contact Gabby Stiles 07523 841 036 www.moo-music.co.uk/areas/wbmm#sessions
Tumbling Toddlers Booker Gym Club. Drop in. 10.15-12midday 01494 471566 firstname.lastname@example.org
Little Ace Tennis, Marlow Youth Centre/Marlow Tennis Club, various times. https://www.littleacestennis.co.uk/weekly-classes contact Emma Hellewell: 07766386345
Little Stars Toddlers Liston Hall. Drop in. 9.30-11.30. Sarah Cassells 01628 485798 07950 365643
Teeny Saints All Saints’ Church. Drop in. 10-11.30am. 4u-team.org/childrens-discipleship-saints-marlow/
Mums & Tots coffee morning Newfield Community Church, Foxes Piece School. Drop in. 10.15-11.45am
Water Babies Court Garden Leisure Centre. 11-11.30 4-18months. 11.30-12midday 18months-3yrs. Drop in. 01628 405200
Baby College Marlow Youth Centre. Booking essential. 9.45am for juniors and 10.45 for infant/toddlers. Vicky Jones 07720 441672 www.babycollege.co.uk
Phenix Yoga (postnatal, mummy&baby) Pugin Rooms, St.Peter’s Church Hall. 11.15-12.15 Jennie 07954 578439 www.phenixyoga.com/mummy-and-baby-yoga-classes
Tumbling Toddlers Booker Gym Club. Drop in. 10.15-12midday. 01494 471566 email@example.com
Little Ace Tennis, Marlow Longridge, various times. https://www.littleacestennis.co.uk/weekly-classes contact Emma Hellewell: 07766386345
Baby Sensory Liston Hall. 10am-11am 6-13 months. 11-12.00 birth to 13 months. 12.30-1.30pm birth to 6 months Booking essential www.babysensory.com/high-wycombe/
Tumble Tots Marlow Youth Centre. 9.30am-10.15am 12months to 2yrs3m. 10.30-11.15am 2-3yrs. 11.30-12.15pm 6-15 months-walking. 1.15-2pm 3-5yrs. Booking essential: Helen Otto 07709 496 876 www.tumbletots.com/marlow
Buggy Fit Higginson Park 9.30am. Veronica Murphy 07796 260799 www.buggyfit.co.uk/location/veronica-murphy-higginson-park-marlow/
Crafty Cooks 99, Newfield Gardens. 10am, 11.15am & 1.30pm. Booking essential: 01628 476670 07789 408869
Bounce & Rhyme Marlow Library 11.15 to 11.45 www.buckscc.gov.uk/events/library-events/marlow/bounce-and-rhyme-babies/
DiddyDisco Sea Cadets’ Hall, Wethered Rd. 9.45 & 10.45. Drop in. www.diddydisco.co.uk
RKrazyPlay soft play Newfield Community Church, Foxes Piece, Marlow 10.30-4.30pm.
Drop in. 07836 640043 www.facebook.com/RCRAZYPLAY/
Little Kickers Court Gardens Leisure Centre. 10am 18months-2yrs. 11am 2-3 ½ yrs Booking essential: Vicki 07477 648340 www.marlowmums.com/baby-toddler-classes/little-kickers/
Messy Church Christ Church URC, Oxford Rd.
Second Saturday of every month. 3.30 – 5pm
Marlow Children’s Centres – 2 sites - Sandygate School & Foxes Piece School firstname.lastname@example.org 01628 472121
Buckinghamshire Family Information Service www.bucksfamilyinfo.org.uk
Marlow Parents. Email the moderator – email@example.com - & ask to join the group.
Imagine if those precious memories were instead sitting on something that needed a machine to let me see them. A machine that was around in the 40’s or even the 70’s.... So have a think about where you store your own family photographs. Are they on your mobile phone? A hard drive? CD’s? Mini discs? (remember those!?) Floppy discs? You get my point – technology is changing so rapidly that it can be difficult to keep up. The must-have storage of today is archived in favour of something new every few years.
The only way you can be sure to preserve your picture memories for your children and grandchildren is to print them.
Your Mobile Phone Pictures
For most of us, our mobile phones are where the majority of our ‘snaps’ are kept. The everyday images of holidays, days out, toothy grins, first foods, and silly selfies. These are the images your children will cherish when they grow up – you must print them! And you have loads of options for printing from your mobile phone.
Your Professional Pictures
As well as the everyday snaps, most families choose a professional photographer like me to capture more important milestones. New additions to your family, birthdays, a new pet, or the annual family portrait all involve a professional portrait photographer who can capture you all in a perfect setting, looking your best. The portraits I produce in Marlow at my home studio set up, or when we go out on location, are your own personal works of art and are designed to be displayed. There’s lots of evidence to show that it boosts self-esteem, confidence and contentment when your portraits are displayed in your home.
Now that the craziness of Christmas is over, you will probably be starting to think about 2019, and all that it will hold for you. Lots of people love to have a New Year Resolution list - I did this last year and it's amazing how having that sense of purpose at the start of the year can drive you to achieve great things!
So what will be your resolutions for this year? One of mine is to photograph my own family more - I spend a lot of time photographing other families but neglect to photograph my own family as much as I would like! I started this in December by taking my parents to a lovely location in Marlow and we had a lot of fun - and now I have some precious memories of them that I can treasure forever!
Maybe having a photo shoot with your family could be one of your New Years resolutions, and as an incentive I am launching my Spring Mini Family Photo Shoots in Marlow! These sessions are classed as 'mini sessions' as they are just 30 minutes long and you get five high resolution digital images with matching 10x8 prints - for just £149. These will take place in the Easter holidays, and I am only releasing a certain number of these mini shoots - so once they're gone, they're gone!
If you would like to book a 'mini session' please click on the following contact button.
I'm delighted to have First Aid trainer Claire Street from Marlow's Child Matters guest blog for me this month! I was thinking about the coming festive season, and how there are things that we as parents should be aware of and should think about during the festivities in terms of keeping our little ones safe. Claire has kindly written the following information to guide us safely through the season:
Tis the season to be jolly! Very jolly in fact. We all like to let our hair down at Christmas but with all that merry making it’s easy to forget that Christmas comes with it’s own festive hazards and children are especially vulnerable – over excited about presents and Santa! According to RoSPA more than 6,000 people end up in hospital on Christmas day. Don’t let that be your or your family and read our 10 tips to keep your little ones safe.
Tip 1 – Don’t buy poisonous berries
Did you know that mistletoe is poisonous as its berries contain toxic proteins that slow the heart rate and can cause hallucinations? The orange berries of the Christmas cherry can cause stomach pains too so keep them away from your little ones. You don’t want to be dealing with diarrhoea on Christmas day!
Tip 2 – Be aware of faulty fairy lights
Around 350 people a year are hurt by Christmas tree lights, according to RoSPA. Injuries include people falling while they’re putting them up, children swallowing the bulbs, and people getting electric shocks and burns from faulty lights.
The advice is to always to test your lights and don’t overload sockets. Don’t leave young children near your Christmas tree lights unsupervised and look for the safety marks eg. BS Kitemark when buying new lights. It goes without say to never insert or remove bulbs when they are switched on.
Take a look at this video on how quickly faulty lights can turn into a fire:
Tip 4 - Button battery beware!
The light-up fidget spinners, musical or light up decorations and fake tea lights often contain button batteries. If a button battery is swallowed and gets stuck in the throat or gullet, the electrical charge from a button battery creates caustic soda inside the body. This can burn a hole through the throat and can lead to serious internal bleeding and death. Keep them away from children!
What to do if your child swallows a button battery:
Get help fast! Don’t let them eat or drink and definitely don’t try to make them sick. Just keep calm and take them to hospital straight away, even if one gets stuck up their nose or in their ear. Don’t be afraid to call an ambulance, it could save their life. Dial 999, not 111. The sooner the batter can be removed, the less chance of permanent damage as lithium batteries can cause damage within 2 hours of being consumed.
Tip 6 – Stay out of the kitchen
Christmas dinner is probably the biggest meal most families cook all year and needs careful planning to avoid injuries. Hot fat, boiling water and sharp knives make the kitchen one of the most dangerous places so try to keep little ones out of the kitchen.
Tip 7 – Give visitors the gift of safety
Grandparents and relatives can unknowingly leave medicines in places where children can find them, such as handbags or counted out on bedside cabinets. How would they feel if they’d accidentally caused the most common accidental poisoning in children, with everyday painkillers a frequent culprit. And hearing aids contain button batteries so they definitely need to be out of reach from kids. Help them to keep your children safe by giving them a safe plastic container like ‘Kiddylock’ (http://www.dreambaby.co.uk/kiddy-lock-cool-guard-child-safe-container.html) to pop everything in and keep high out of reach or in a locked cupboard.
Tip 8 – Get the kids first aid trained in DRAB!
Seasonal hazards are even easier to avoid if children themselves are first aid trained. Young children from as little as four years old are very capable of reacting quickly to save a life and get help. BUT, only if they have the confidence and knowledge to do so. And it isn’t just about helping others, little ones can learn how to stay safe themselves.
So what should children know? The most important lesson for any age child to learn is simply when and how to shout for help if someone has an accident or is very poorly.
As adults we are more likely to know when someone is choking, struggling to breathe or unconscious. Even if we’ve never witnessed it ourselves, we’ve certainly watched TV dramas. But for children it’s going to be a complete surprise and something they’ve never ever seen before. So knowing how to stay calm, find out if a person is ok and how to call 999 is essential. And that’s where DRAB comes in. Tattooing these simple emergency action steps onto the big minds of little one’s could save someone’s life!
Tip 10 – Teach children the importance of keeping themselves safe
If your child is out and about and has an accident themselves, memorising their own address and telephone number is a sure way to get help faster. As parents you may be able to give lifesaving information on your child’s medical condition such as epilepsy and allergies. And it goes without saying that children should be aware of their own medical conditions themselves.
So give your little ones the knowledge to stay safe this season and book them on a Junior Child Matters First Aid training course for 2019, taught by paediatric nurses.
Visit www.child-matters.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org for course dates near you or we can run a group session in your own home or school.
Stats from Home Accident Surveillance System, 2002 & 2011/12 Fire Statistics Great Britain from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Child accident prevention trust