If you have a child, it means that you have to look at your house from a whole different perspective. Babies and children are very curious and therefore you need to pay special attention to your house to prevent accidents. Even if you think you have done everything to make your house child safe and friendly, chances are that you have missed more than half of the child hazards.
Home-related accidents affect more than 2 million children (under the age of 15) worldwide every year. The main reason for this is the overconfidence of moms about their children’s understanding. Moms generally tend to think their children know that they should not be doing certain things, which may not be necessarily true. You must be prepared for the worst since it’s a matter of your child’s safety. Here are 10 things you should take care of in your house to make it child- friendly and safe:
Stairs, Windows, and Beds:
Falls are the most common cause of home-related accidents and account for 44 percent of home-related accidents. Around 10 child deaths are caused by falls each year, which mostly includes falls from stairs. Falls in the same level are less injurious, whereas fall from one level to another could cause serious injuries.
Falling can be prevented by these methods:
- Arrange for safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Install child resistors in windows, but make sure they can be removed in case of emergency.
- Make sure you don’t keep anything under your windows so that the children can be restricted from climbing on windows.
- Avoid leaving things you can trip over on stairs.
- Maintain your stairs carefully.
- Stairs should be well lit all the time.
- Secure the furniture and tall kitchen appliance to the wall to keep them from falling.
- Keep an eye on your children as much as possible.
Fires pose a great threat to children, and many house fires are caused by unattended children playing with matchsticks. Thankfully, fires are easy to prevent. Here are some ways this can be done:
- Matches and Lighters must be kept out of sight and reach of children.
- Use the fire guard regularly and secure it to the wall.
- Keep your fireplace covered.
- Cigarettes must be extinguished and disposed of properly.
- Plan and practice an escape route in case of fire.
- Install a smoke alarm and check it regularly.
Burns and Scalds:
There are more incidents of burns and scalds in younger children than in adults. Many of the children who go to an emergency with a burn or scald are referred on for further treatment. It may take a lot of time to recover and can also cause a lot of pain and permanent scarring.
Hot baths are responsible for the maximum amount of severe scalding injuries. Approximately 500 children are scalded by bath water every year. Burning can also be caused by unattended open fires, irons, cookers, straighteners, cigarettes, and other hot surfaces. To prevent such accidents:
- Never hold a child with hot drinks in your hand.
- Keep your hot drinks out of the reach of the children and away from the edges of tabletops.
- Young children must not be left alone in the bathroom
- Always check the water temperature with your elbow before letting your child into the bath/ shower.
- The domestic hot water system must run at 45-degree Celsius.
- Keep your iron, straighteners, curling iron, etc away from the reach of children, especially while you let them cool.
- Try to use coiled flex or cordless kettles.
- Avoid letting your children into the kitchen as much as possible.
Glass Related Accidents:
Due to the increased usage of glass at home, children are more prone to glass related accidents. Accidents related to architectural glass is the leading cause of glass related deaths in children, whereas broken glass utensils and bottles can cause major injuries. Here are some methods with which these can be prevented:
- Replace laminated glass with regular glass in all the windows and doors, especially in the ones that are at a lower level.
- Apply a shatter resistant film to the existing glass to make it safer.
- Keep the photo frames away from children and mount them in a high place on the wall.
- Replace the breakable utensils with the unbreakable ones.
- Broken glasses must be cleaned quickly and properly disposed of.
Suffocating and Choking:
Items such as small toys, peanuts, marbles, etc. are easier for children to swallow and therefore must be kept away from them to avoid choking. Nappy sacks that are used to throw soiled nappy sacks pose a risk to babies and young children since they are fragranced and made up of flimsy material attract children even more.
Babies and children are at a higher risk of choking and suffocating since they tend to examine things with their mouths. Here are a few things that you should do to protect your children from suffocation:
- Choose age-appropriate toys for children.
- Keep small toys, marbles, and other small toys away from children under 3 years.
- Tell older children to keep their toys away from the younger ones.
- Use a net on the pram.
- Keep pets away from the bedroom.
- Nappy sacks must not be stored in or around the pram.
- Make sure your baby sleeps on their back with their feet at the foot of the cot. Also, the child should be the right age for the cod, bed or wherever they sleep.
Poisoning affects more than 28,000 children every year. Most poisoning includes medicines, cosmetics, and other household products. Some of these products cause difficulty in breathing, so medical attention must be given immediately. Here are some ways to prevent this:
- Medicines and chemicals must be kept out of reach of children. If possible, keep them locked up in a cupboard.
- Store chemicals in their original containers.
- Houseplants with poisonous leaves should be avoided.
- Buy products in child-resistant containers whenever possible.
- Unwanted medicines and chemicals should be disposed of safely and immediately.
Electrical supplies are a necessity, but they could cause trouble for your toddler. Here are a few ways electrical accidents can be prevented.
- Make sure the power strips are unexposed.
- Make sure the plug points are high above. Low plug points must be covered properly.
- TVs that are mounted on a wall are less likely to cause accidents.
- Make sure the remote does not have a missing battery cover.
- Batteries must be properly disposed of.
These are some of the common things you should take care of when you have a child in your home. Other than these, you can take other precautions too, depending on the kind of home you have. Always be a little extra prepared just in case. After all, prevention is better than cure, right?