With the weather so far and all predictions pointing to another thermometer breaking winter, we must remind ourselves and others of the hazards of screenwash and anti-freeze.

Both products are of course vital for safe winter driving, but their vibrant colour, coupled with a sweet smell and taste, do little to discourage inquisitive toddlers. Anti-freeze is usually used once to top up the car radiator and then the remaining liquid is left lurking in the garage or garden shed.

Anti-freeze is a lethal liquid that causes kidney failure and can often be sold in bottles without child-resistant tops.

Screenwash can be even more of a hazard to young children. In the winter months, screenwash is often kept handy in the kitchen or the back of the car for quick use on wintry mornings. It is also regularly decanted from large containers into handier recycled soft drinks bottles. The popularity of concentrated screenwash increases the risk, should a toddler successfully get the bottle open.

Help keep your children safe this winter, by following these easy to remember safety tips:

  • Like other household products, we recommend you buy ones with Bitrex® added to them for a ‘belt and braces’ approach to child safety - as the bitter taste makes any product very difficult for a child to swallow.
  • Keep screenwash and anti-freeze out of sight and reach of young children.
  • Keep products in their original containers, so as not to confuse you or your children.

Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said:

"Unfortunately the very products designed to increase safety on the roads in winter can be hazardous to small children. We’re reminding parents to keep screenwash and anti-freeze where curious toddlers can’t find them, and to look for products containing a bittering agent like Bitrex. It tastes so bitter that children don’t swallow products that can harm them but spit them out instead."

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