Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Don’t let accidents poison Christmas!

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) is calling on parents, grandparents, friends and family to ensure medicines and cleaning products are out of sight and reach of young children and to alert families to the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning this Christmas time.  

Christmas is always a busy time for parents with presents to buy, meals to plan and family and friends to entertain. It is an especially joyous time for children. But with so much going on, Christmas can also be an especially hazardous time for young children when it comes to poisoning accidents. Distracted parents may leave cleaning products within reach of small hands, while guests may leave pills in handbags or counted out on bedside cabinets.     

Every day 15 young children are admitted to hospital with suspected poisoning.  Medicines are the most common cause of accidental poisoning, with everyday painkillers a frequent culprit. Cleaning products such as bleach, oven cleaner and detergent liquitabs are also common hazards. Yet many parents are unaware that safety tops are not child-proof.

The risk for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning peaks in the winter, often caused by unsafe central heating systems, gas cookers or gas fires.  Every year 50 children are admitted to hospital from CO poisoning in the home.  Children are at greater risk of serious damage or death from CO poisoning, as their bodies are smaller and weaker than those of an adult and therefore they can be overcome by the fumes quicker.

Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive, CAPT commented: “A frantic dash to casualty with a toddler who has swallowed something poisonous isn’t on anybody’s Christmas list. That’s why we want parents to be aware of the increased risks that come with friends and family visiting, changes in routine and a bit more chaos than usual. Follow our quick and easy safety tips to keep Christmas festive and young children safe from serious harm.”

Dr Joe Brierley, Consultant Paediatric Intensivist, Great Ormond Street Hospital said: “Christmas is for many a time of great joy, of family and togetherness with children spending time visiting relatives and friends.  However, in homes that don’t normally have young children – and even those that do - just take 5 minutes on arrival for a quick safety check.”


  • Ask visitors to your home, such as grandparents, not to leave medicines in places where young children can find them, for example in handbags on the floor or counted out on bedside cabinets.

  • Remember that safety tops slow young children down but are not child-proof.


  • Clear away any bottles of alcohol and the last dregs of drinks left in glasses, as even small amounts of alcohol can poison young children.

Household products

  • If you are staying away from home, check to see where the household cleaners are. If they’re next to the toilet or under the sink, move them out of reach and sight of young children.

  • Be especially wary of liquitabs. They are bright and attractive to young children who can mistake them for sweets.  

Carbon Monoxide

  • Buy a carbon monoxide alarm for any room with a flame-burning appliance such as a gas boiler, gas cooker, gas fire or an open fire.

For more practical advice on poison prevention go to the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s website

Monday, 17 December 2012

Managing Christmas expectations

It's easy at this time of year to feel slightly inadequate; you may know you can't afford all the toys the children want, or feel your house isn't quite big enough to fit in all the people who want to stay the night and perhaps it's going to be a struggle to find the money to feed everyone.
I'm sure, apart from the rich and famous, most people feel like that to some extent. So, keep things in perspective and manage people's expectations. Your children may not get everything they want but then who does? And you wouldn't be a good parent if your children got everything they wanted all the time. Explain in advance that Father Christmas simply doesn't have a big enough sack to carry all those presents and that there has to be enough presents for everyone in the world. If there is one big present that your child really does want and you feel they deserve, but you simply can't afford it then see if you can club together with a few other people to get it. If you look back at your childhood Christmas's, it isn't the presents you remember but the coming together of families and having fun together - keep this thought in your head! If it is your turn to host Christmas but you are struggling for money, then ask everyone to bring a part of the meal and if there are offers of practical help make sure you take them up. Some families meet up on Christmas Eve to prepare the vegetables or set the table which cuts down on what you have to do on the day itself. Mums and mum-in-laws are normally very willing to help and even if you prefer to keep the kitchen to yourself you could ask them to bring dessert or the starter, which they can prepare in their own home. Everyone is aware money has been particularly tight for many people for the past couple of years. So, if you struggling be honest with those that are coming to you over Christmas and ask if they could bring some drink or desserts, for example - I've never known anyone who isn't willing to chip in. If the list of people you buy presents for gets bigger every year it may be time for a cull! We have started to do a 'secret Santa' in our family whereby you draw names out of a hat and you only buy for one person, alternatively you can put a strict limit on the amount of money you spend on each person. There's no need to feel embarrassed about suggesting this; most people are normally very relieved that someone has. The festive period should be a time of happiness and of family traditions. It isn't about feeling stressed and inadequate. You will be doing the best for your family and that will be enough for them. You will never be able to please everyone all the time, but although there will always be people who are better off than you, there will also be plenty of people who have less than your family and unfortunately may not be as happy as you. Christmas is a time to count your blessings and for ensuring your family have the best possible time within your limits.

Monday, 3 December 2012

ABC Magazine founder wins Business Woman of the Year 2012!

Rachel Boyle, founder and managing director of the ABC Magazine Group has won Business Woman of the Year 2012!

This hard fought category, sponsored by was one of the highlights at the prestigious Woman of the Year 2012 event held at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel in Arundel, West Sussex last Friday.

Organised by Johnston Press Southern Events, in association with The Mumpreneurs Networking Club  the evening was a great success with over 300 guests celebrating the success of local women in business, women in the home, women in the community - in fact, women everywhere.

"I am absolutely chuffed to bits to receive this award, particularly with such an impressive list of nominees. Women all over the country are now very strong in business with many finding the time and energy to run their businesses alongside their families. Like many women in business, I rely on a strong network of other mums to ensure that what we do at ABC Magazine is as accurate, correct and useful as it can be - thank you to you all."

Charlotte Plummer, from headline sponsor
The Body shop, said: “At The Body Shop, we believe that true beauty comes from the heart. For us, beauty is  much more than a pretty face. It’s about looking good, feeling good and doing good. We make our products with love and care and we source some of the finest ingredients from the four corners of the globe, and we trade fairly so communities benefit as well as you.”
Founded by Dame Anita Roddick, successful business women and entrepreneur, The Body Shop has always had a special relationship with women. As well as supporting women in business, The Body Shop also runs campaigns on women’s issues and rights, including its ‘Activate Self Esteem’ programme and ‘Stop Violence in the Home’ campaign which raised over £4 million for partners who work to offer prevention, support and protection of women.

The Body Shop also works with a number of women-only co-operatives, through its Community Fair Trade programme, sourcing ingredients and accessories from marginalised communities across the globe. This provides predictable and regular income and the security and confidence for some women to develop their own businesses.  The trade transforms their lives, their self-esteem and their voice in the community.

Rachel Boyle (R) receiving her Business Woman of the Year Award 2012 from Nicky Chisholm (L) of the Mumpreneurs Networking Club

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Recreate your youth with our Kidspace Christmas parties!

LOOKING for somewhere fun and unique to hold your Christmas party?

Then why not release the big kid in you and join us at Kidspace Indoor Adventure Park in Croydon for your festivities.

Whatever your childhood memories were, let Kidspace bring them flooding back with our adults’ only parties. Our adventure play equipment includes Go Karts, black hole slide, climbing wall and much more.

Our award winning venue in Purley Way has a fully licensed bar and can cater for group bookings of between 20 to 100 people.

Our Christmas package runs on specific dates from the 7th to 21st December. From Sunday to Thursday we can accommodate parties from 7.30pm to 11pm. And on Friday and Saturday bookings are from 8pm to 11pm [End times are flexible].

For just £35 per head, this includes a drink on arrival, 30 minutes play on the equipment, a three course meal, coffee and a mince pie, table entertainment, late night disco, personalised table settings and giant games.

For more information or to make a booking email or telephone  
0208 686 0040.

 Kidspace is available to hire for celebrations/corporate events throughout the year. For information and prices, please use the above contact details.

Children’s Christmas party at Kidspace
Date:        Thursday 20th December
Time:       5pm – 7.30pm
Includes:  Pizza buffet, 30 minutes entertainment, a trip to Santa’s grotto. Adults free.
Tickets cost £12 in advance (£2 off for annual/quartually pass holders)
£14 on the door (no discount available).

Kidspace Croydon can be found at The Colonnades, 619 Purley Way,  Croydon, CR0 4RQ. Tel 0208 686 0040. Visit