With a house full of excited little guests to take care of, stress levels can rise at party time. Keep your cool and ensure everyone has a great time with our simple tips to keep children safe at parties.
First aid kit
Check that your first aid kit is up-to-date and well-stocked, including plasters, dressings, bandages, antiseptic cream, cotton wool and so on. To make life easy, ready-stocked first aid kits are available from many supermarkets and chemists.
For a quick guide to the contents of a first aid kit and what to do in case of accidents or emergencies, see the NHS Choices website.
Childproof your party
Do a thorough childproof check of the party rooms to ensure they're safe for little ones. Depending on the age of guests, you may want to consider stair gates, drawer and cupboard catches, socket covers, radiator guards and so on. Be aware of any sharp corners, remove breakables and tidy away cables that could cause a trip hazard.
Lock the doors
Close doors that are out of bounds and make sure guests know where they can and can't go. If you can't lock internal doors, then tape some party ribbon across the doorway of rooms or areas that are out of bounds. For safety, lock the front door so children can't run out onto the street and if they aren't playing out in the garden, it's sensible to keep the back door locked too. Keep pets well away from the party action.
Adult to child ratio
Enlist the help of other parents, friends or relations so there's a good ratio of adults to children. Extra adults can assist with games and activities, keep an eye on little guests and help with any spillages, little accidents or other needs.
Essential phone numbers
If parents are leaving children with you, make sure they also leave their contact numbers, preferably mobiles, so you can reach them at anytime. Store your doctor's number in your phone or keep it close at hand. Ensure parents come to the door to pick up their little ones and don't let children go home with anyone else unless it's pre-arranged or you've rung and checked with the parents.
If you're hiring a venue outside the home, make sure they have insurance, first aid equipment and enough trained staff on hand to deal with any emergencies. Find out where the emergency exits are and ensure you have a good adult to child ratio.