Everyone knows that accidents happen. If you have a child or children, you’ll be no stranger to dealing with small accidents. Grazed knees from falling after running too fast or little bumps and bruises. These kinds of accidents are common and luckily, rarely cause any lasting damage. However, more serious accidents can and do happen in the home. Child safety is incredibly important, not only to be aware yourself of the risks and hazards but to educate your children and make them aware as well.
Fires can happen easily and spread quickly. Curiosity can lead children to pick up lighters or matches, playing with candles or even innocently leaving toys too close to heaters. It’s essential to keep items that pose a risk of fire out of reach of children. Keep an eye on them at all times, especially when fires are lit or heaters are turned on. Educate them about the hazards of fires. Teach them to alert an adult the moment they see smoke or flames.
Trips and falls aren’t always more serious than a bruised knee, but they can be. Make sure you have stair gates and a handrail installed on your stairs. Teach toddlers the importance of walking carefully and slowly up and downstairs. Don’t allow clutter to build upon stairs as it creates a tripping hazard. Use safety mats around play equipment in the garden and encourage children not to climb onto roofs, sheds, fences, etc.
The kitchen is where the majority of accidents in the home take place – it’s important to stay as safe as possible. Ideally, try and avoid children being in the kitchen whilst cooking is taking place. If this isn’t possible, keep children away from the oven and always keep saucepan handles towards the back of the cooker. Don’t leave cups of hot drinks near the edge of the work surface or table. Elsewhere, hair styling tools should be switched off when not in use and put out of reach of children. Always test the temperature of water when running a bath for your child.
With 500 children a week being rushed to a hospital for suspected poisoning, it’s essential you keep hazardous items hidden from them. When it comes to medicines, a cabinet or cupboard, preferably locked, is the best place to keep them. Take them without your child seeing to avoid them attempting to copy you. Household products should be kept in high cupboards, ideally with a child-resistant catch. If you’re using products that are potentially harmful, keep them out of reach of children.
Keep unused outlets covered – ideally block outlets with furniture to avoid children having any contact with them. When it comes to extension leads, keep them behind furniture and put electrical tape over unused plug holes. Always switch off appliances when they’re not being used and when they are, keep cords out of the reach of children.
For more information about Child Safety Week, visit Child Accident Prevention Trust.