How Child-Safe Is Your Home?
We concentrate on protecting our children when we are outside of the home. Depending on the age of our child this could range from ensuring that they are strapped securely in strollers and buggies, hold our hand when walking, wear headgear while out on bicycles or skates, don’t talk to strangers; the list is endless.
But what about safety within your home? What can you do to prevent childhood accidents? Above all, your common sense will tell you the obvious things to watch our. We have put a few tips together in this article which we hope will be of help:
- Fit a stair gate to prevent young children from climbing stairs and possibly falling
- Ensure doors that allow access to exterior areas are not easily opened by young children
- Interior doors should be fitted with ‘pinch proof’ devices where possible
- Remove the small rubber tips from door stops as these could cause a child to choke
- Fit window locks to windows that are within reach of young children
- Fit locks to presses that contain dangerous substances such as bleach, detergents and so on
- These types of products should ALWAYS be stored in their original containers, preferably with childproof lids.
- Ensure cables for kettles, fryers, steamers etc., are not left dangling where a young child could pull the appliance down and cause an accident or worse again, a scald or burn
- Make sure that drawers containing knives and sharp objects are inaccessible to children
- Ensure that your dishwasher cannot be opened by your child avoiding access to knives, glasses and so on
- Fit corner guards to sharp corners on tables, chairs and worktops
- As with the kitchen, ensure cables cannot be pulled by children causing items to fall and injure them
- Think about securing heavy items (such as TVs) to the wall to prevent these tipping over onto young children
- Fit socket covers to prevent little fingers being stuck into sockets
- Don’t leave matches or lighters or other dangerous items within a child’s reach
- Don’t leave your car keys around where a young child may get them
- Be careful with curtain ties and cables – these can become hazardous for a child if they caught around their neck
- If your child can stand, remove mobiles and other hanging items from within reach of their cot
- Never leave your child unattended on a changing table
- Ensure that curtain strings, tiebacks and small curtain accessories (choking hazards) are kept out of reach of the cot and changing table
- Never use hot water bottles in children’s cots or beds in case of scalding
- Young children should never be placed in the top bunk of bunk beds
- As with kitchens, keep products out of reach of children
- Set the temperature of your water heater not to exceed 90 degrees to avoid scalding
- Check water temperature with your elbow to ensure it is adequate for your child. Do not rely on using your hands as the skin on your hands is far less sensitive than the skin around your elbow.
- Consider fitting a toilet lid lock
- Make sure that shaving equipment is well out of reach of young children
- Ensure your child is safe from traffic
- Set a boundary within which the child is restrained ensuring that they can't wander off or be placed in danger
- Pay special attention to water - a young child can drown in an inch of water so ensure that ponds, pools, buckets and so on are safe
- Barbeques - while these are great fun, make sure that hot barbeques are well out of access for children
- When choosing plants and shrubs, try to ensure that they are not particularly likely to attract bees and wasps
- Use garden chemicals which are safe for children
- Keep garden tools and equipment locked away from children
Wherever they are stored – keep them out of reach and out of sight of children!
Each household should have the following equipment:
- First aid kit (and know how to use it!)
- Fire Blanket
- Fire Extinguisher
- Emergency numbers list (to include doctor, poisons centre, emergency services etc)
What if there is an emergency? What do you do if your child is choking, had been burned or suffered an electrical shock? Why not consider doing a first aid course to learn the basic skills you need in an emergency? You could help to save a life or a child or adult if you have the appropriate training.