A parental survey was administered by health visitors at the eight-month hearing test in five areas of Nottingham in order to examine possession and perceptions of the importance of safety equipment. The response rate was 82.2%. A sizeable proportion of families were found not to possess items of safety equipment thought to be appropriate for an eight-month-old child. Most items were perceived to be very important with a significant association between perceived importance and possession of equipment (P = 0.008). Perceptions of importance did not vary by socio-demographic variables but families on benefit, single-parent families, non-owner-occupiers and families with only one child possessed significantly fewer items. It is concluded that there is considerable scope for educating parents about safety equipment and that the provision of affordable safety equipment schemes should be considered by agencies implementing The Health of the Nation.