Media release: Charity urges homeowners to consider the safety of young visitors over the festive period

THE Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), in partnership with Macfarlan Smith, discoverers of bittering agent, Bitrex, are calling on all Christmas hosts to get their home ready for any young children they may be expecting, to help lower the risk of accidental poisoning over the festive period.

Says a spokesperson: “With the party season fast approaching, this is the time of year when children are most likely to be visiting friends’, relatives’ and neighbours’ homes.

“So, if you’re expecting little visitors this Christmas you can take some of the weight off their parents’ shoulders by taking the time to ensure that medicines, household cleaning products and automotive products, such as anti-freeze, are safely out of reach.

“Potential poisons are in constant use around the home and while most people are aware of the dangers, some products present a less obvious hazard.

“For example, concentrated laundry liquitabs, with their bright colours and squidgy texture are very attractive to small children.

“The National Poisons Information Service received over 600 calls from health professionals about concentrated laundry capsules in 2009-10, with most cases involving children under-five, and 80 per cent relating to children swallowing some of the contents. In its annual report, the NPIS called for greater awareness of the dangers liquid laundry capsules can present.”

Commenting on such dangers, Katrina Philips, chief executive at the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said: “It can be easy to forget or run out of time, in the busy preparations for your guests’ arrival, to make your home a little safer for any small guests.

“Some simple steps, such as putting cleaning products up in a higher cupboard than usual, or locking the bathroom cupboard, can go a long way to preventing inquisitive toddlers getting their hands on something they shouldn’t.”

Cameron Smith, from Macfarlan Smith, adds: “During the stress of the festive period, it can be easy to forget to put potentially poisonous products out of reach of any visiting children.

“We recommend looking for products marked with the round ‘Contains Bitrex’ logo when on your Christmas shop.

“All products have been carefully tested to ensure that the extremely bitter taste of Bitrex will discourage accidental swallowing should a cleaning product get into little hands.

“This provides a little extra peace of mind for busy hosts and parents, and extra protection for children. Many leading retailers and manufacturers are now adding Bitrex to their household products, as they know that children will always be inquisitive (it’s part of growing up!), and that all parents will appreciate that extra support from Bitrex.”


For further information contact : Ali O’Neale , Cloudline PR 0131 553 8660/07889016094.

Notes for editors:

At this time of year, normal precautions to ensure child-safety become even more important. When parents’ attention is divided between many stressful concerns, it is important that threats to children’s safety are eliminated or controlled. This is important not just for parents but for anyone who may find themselves with children in their home, whether for a night’s babysitting, or to host a family visit. If safety concerns are taken care of before the festive season’s activities get underway, it can take a little weight off parents’ shoulders, and greatly increase the safety of children in the home.

Checks round the house need not be lengthy or time-consuming, as most hazards are easy to identify and control.

Some sensible precautions include: making sure knives and scissors are out of reach; removing all matches, lighters and similar equipment; and ensuring potential poisoning hazards are out of reach to curious exploring toddlers.


Denatonium Benzoate was discovered in 1958 by Macfarlan Smith and registered under the Bitrex trademark in the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA later the same year. First used in denaturing alcohol – making it legally unfit for consumption – it is now added to a wide range of household cleaners, pesticides, and DIY and automotive products. Since being approved in the UK and US in the early 1960s, Bitrex has been officially recognised as the denaturant of choice in more than 40 countries.

UK sales began in 1960, and by 1963, customers included I.C.I, Rentokil and Avon Products. The first use of Bitrex simply as a taste aversive was in a cream to prevent tail-biting in pigs.

Bitrex® has been used in a variety of applications since. One of the main uses is as a human aversive. Due to its overwhelming bitter taste, it is ideal for helping prevent accidental poisonings. Many supermarkets in the UK and Europe use the Bitrex® logo on their products as a selling point to their customers.

Child Accident Prevention Trust:

The Child Accident Prevention Trust is a leading charity working to reduce the number of children killed, disabled or seriously injured by accidents, without ‘wrapping them in cotton wool’.

Its re-vamped website,, features easy-to-follow safety advice for both professionals and parents, plus quizzes and puzzles to help both children and parents learn more about safety.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Cloudline PR. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Ali O’Neale