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Toddlers' homes "should be checked"

Safety checks should be carried out on the homes of parents whose children are under the age of five, a health watchdog has said.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said around two million children visit A&E departments with accidental injuries every year. Although the injuries are usually minor, they are thought to be a leading cause of death in many children.

A total of 208 people under 14 died from unintentional injuries in England and Wales in 2008, according to the institute.

It has issued guidance stating that checks should be carried out in the homes of toddlers and young children, to ensure equipment being used in the homes are meeting safety standards.

The watchdog's Mike Kelly denied his organisation was promoting a so-called nanny state. He said: "It's a normal part of growing up for children to sometimes hurt themselves in day-to-day life but we also need to prevent serious injuries from happening. These can have a profound effect on a young child right through to adult life, as they may need lengthy treatment and could be permanently disabled or disfigured."

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National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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