London Fire Brigade

Children stuck in toilets drives London firefighters potty

06 June 2016

Fire chiefs are warning parents to keep a keen eye on children as new figures reveal that crews receive an average of four call outs a day to rescue youngsters from a variety of objects like railings, potties and toilet seats.

In 2015 there were 1,499 incidents of under 18s being stuck in things and 7,526 call outs to children stuck in things in the last five years.

The new figures coincide with the start of Child Safety Week (6-12 June) and the Brigade is asking parents to only dial 999 if it is a real emergency.

Mark Hazelton, Community Safety Group Manager said: "I'm a father so I know it’s impossible to watch your children every second of the day but with a bit of extra forethought and careful supervision it’s far better to prevent youngsters getting in a tight spot in the first place. 

"Many of the incidents we get called to could be avoided with a little bit of common sense. 

"I would ask parents to keep an eye on their children and only call 999 if it is a real emergency."



London Fire Brigade stock photo


The most unusual child rescues revealed

Some of most unusual child rescues in the last five years, the Brigade's crews have been called out to rescue, include:

  • Child with its head stuck in a potty
  • Child with a finger caught in a tumble dryer
  • Child with a foot stuck in a manhole cover
  • Child with its hand stuck in a door
  • Baby with leg stuck in a cot
  • A 13 year old stuck in a baby swing in a park 
  • Child trapped under a slide  
  • A toilet seat stuck on a child’s head 
  • Child with a toy train stuck on a finger  
  • Child with knee stuck in a park merry-go-round

In 2015 the Brigade spent £488,674 on call-outs to under 18 year olds who accidentally locked themselves in rooms or got trapped in things. 

This figure is based on £326 per call out which is the rate used to recover costs charged for services, such as repeated calls to shut in lift releases and false alarms from automatic systems.