Keeping your Children Safe at Home
For all parents child safety is a big concern. We all worry about our children, and do not want them to have accidents, or suffer injuries. Therefore, we start teaching them, from an early age, how to stay safe.
Many of us see danger as coming from outside the home. However, this perception is actually wrong. In reality, many accidents that lead to injury or death occur in the home. Every year, more than 3.4 million US children suffer an unintentional household injury. You can read more about the figures on this page.
To help you to keep your kids safer at home we have put together some simple guidance below. We have done so by looking at the most common injuries and coming up with some suggestions to help you to reduce the risks.
An alarming number of children choke every year. Therefore, keeping any small item out of the reach of your kids is important. Remember that foodstuffs can also represent a choking hazard. For example, do not leave chewing gum where children can reach it. Be particularly careful with boiled sweets. They are a big temptation for children, but can easily become lodged in the throat.
Plastic bags are very dangerous. Switch to using cloth or paper bags to shop, and make it a habit to throw all plastic wrappings away immediately. Put them right at the bottom of the recycling bin, so your kids cannot reach them.
If you own a pool, be sure to fence it off, so that children cannot use it without supervision. Install an alarm that goes off when something heavy hits the surface of the water. That way if they do get into the pool area you will hear the alarm if they fall in. Even if you have a pool cover, you should still buy an alarm. A small child can easily drown in the puddle that can develop on top of a pool cover after rainfall.
You also need to put up signage that warns of the risk of slipping and falling. It is easy to buy pictorial safety signs that even young kids can understand, and they do not cost much.
While we are on the subject of slips and falls, we need to say that avoiding them is important. Falls in the home are the biggest cause of childhood injuries. Installing a stair guard is clearly a logical step to take. However, so is keeping kids out of an area where the floor has just been cleaned, and getting everyone to put their things away rather than leave them on the floor.
Burns are some of the most serious injuries that have lifelong consequences. Installing a latch high up on your kitchen door will keep your children out. Put one on the inside and one on the outside. Provided the door is properly locked you can safely leave a pan of stew simmering while you get on with something elsewhere in the home, because you know that your child cannot get into the kitchen.
Installing fireguards is also a good idea. They look a bit ugly, but are an important safety feature.
Every home is different, so if you have not already done so we suggest you walk around and do a safety audit. If you buy new appliances, or make changes to your home always think about safety. That way you can take steps to address any potential issues, and prevent accidents.