East or west, home is best. Playing with friends, learning new stuff and having adventures are all memories we have as kids. The cycle needs to continue, through our kids. How safe is your home? You probably feel safest at home with your little one – and you should. As a parent, you have to be cautious with your little one. As your baby grows and learns to crawl, climb and open things, you should be alert for hazards. Many homes could be safer, and have hidden hazards that could be harmful to toddlers who don’t know how to avoid dangers at home.
Each year, over 4.5 million children are injured by hazards. Common home injuries include poisoning, drowning, falls, suffocation, strangulation, burns and scalds. Accidents can easily turn a happy moment into disaster no one wants to think about. For this reason, precautionary measures have to be taken before your baby is born, or at least before they start crawling. You can do this by finding out what the risks are and removing or preventing them. Some safety hazards are obvious while others are not so easily identified.
The Home Safety Checklist for Toddlers
Home safety is all about creating a safe environment, supervising your baby and teaching them about what’s safe and what’s not. By taking a few simple measures to baby proof your adult-friendly home, you can help prevent common home injuries from happening. Your home, the driveway, the gate are all potential areas for accidents. This article will suggest a number of actions you can take to ensure our children are safe playing in these areas. Read this list, and check the box after you’ve successfully completed the described task.
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children in the US. In 2015( the most recent year available) alone, 85 children were admitted to The Royal’s Children Hospital with driveway-related injuries. Out of these, 92 percent of the accidents occurred at the children’s homes while the remaining 8 percent occurred while the kids were away at a relative or friend’s home. This shows you how important it is to take care of your homes. Kids, especially those under the age of 6, are susceptible to driveway accidents for a number of reasons:
- Their small sizes don’t allow drivers to see them from inside their vehicles.
- They are usually quick and unpredictable.
- The large blind spots in the rear and side mirrors of cars can easily obscure kids.
To prevent this, you should always know the exact location of your kid whenever you’re entering or leaving the driveway. Don’t take any chances. Blow the horn if necessary to alert them to get out of the way. We, however, recommend that your kids shouldn’t be around whenever you’re operating your vehicle in the driveway.
Make Your Home Safe For Kids
Improvise your home to make it safe for your kid. Take time to look around and contemplate. Ask yourself this, “What are the possible hazardous areas and what can I do to change this?” Remove the risk or minimize it as much as possible by adding safety products. For example, if your living room has a table with sharp corners, you can opt to remove the table or still add protective padding to make it toddler-friendly. You can always consider changing the layout of the room for a safer environment. When building or renovating your house, incorporate safety measures to ensure your kid will fit in right. This will be easier and save you a lot of costs. Don’t wait for the future to start making the necessary changes. Begin now.
Cover all unused electrical sockets. Keep all electrical cords out of toddler’s reach. Keep your pet’s toys and food away from your child. Keep buttons, coins, keys, batteries, earrings, keys and other small objects out of children’s reach. You should also choose carefully from the range of safety products available. They should be compatible with your child’s age and good on your budget. Some products such as fire alarms are mandatory and required by the law.
Door and Stove Barriers
Consider using a door barrier or even a kitchen gate to keep your child out of the kitchen. This is especially when you’re busy preparing the family’s meals. The safety gate will allow the child to see what is happening in the kitchen and you of course but lock him or her safely in the adjacent room. With this, you are able to proceed with your chores knowing very well your child is secure. Door barriers also come in handy at the top and bottom of the staircase. Staircases are one of the most common potential areas of accidents.
Going back to the kitchen, stoves and ovens are other potential areas of accidents. Stove barriers help prevent these burns. They are fitted in the hot plates of the appliances to prevent any injuries. To further enhance kitchen safety, you should purchase stove knob covers. These are used to tighten the stove and make it impossible for the kid to turn it on.
Locks and Safety Latches
Many dangerous and harmful chemicals, cleaning detergents, and medicine lie in our kitchens, laundry rooms and kitchen cabinets. If your child gets hold of either of these, the results may be catastrophic. In order to ensure that this isn’t the case, store drugs and chemicals in their original containers and out of reach. Ensure these are kept away after use by locking them in a lock that is out of reach, preferably above 1.5 meters. Also, you can consider using safety latches and locks and attach them to your cupboards. Only use plastic catches on cupboards or drawers containing crockery. If the items inside are poisonous, you could look for an alternative. You can look for a small drawer to store all your poisonous medicines.
Button batteries are common in many household items inclusive of remote controls, calculators, toys, watches, you name them. They are coin-sized and can cause severe injuries if the child swallows them. You can take some steps to prevent this. As they say; prevention is better than cure and cheaper too. We recommend the following: identify, secure, elevate and eliminate. Identify the items with these batteries and secure their compartments. By elevating, you keep these items out the children’s reach. When no longer in use, eliminate these batteries by disposing them of safely.
No matter how much we try to prevent accidents, sometimes they occur. That’s why they are called accidents; unforeseen events. If your child swallows the batteries, seek medical assistance immediately.
Other Safety Measures
There are numerous safety products and measures that you can employ to enhance the safety of our kids. The list could go on and on. We outline just a few of the remaining:
- Install foam doorstoppers to prevent fingers from being jammed between door hinges.
- Get rid of any poisonous houseplants.
- Avoid home and garden applications of herbicides and pesticides when toddlers are present or nearby.
- Keep stuffed toys, piles of clothing and cushions out of prams and cots.
- Use doorknob covers to make it hard and prevent kids from entering rooms.
- Secure curtain and blind cords beyond your baby’s reach.
- Install safety tap-caps to prevent the kids from opening hot taps and burning themselves.
PRO TIP: Even when you think you’ve gotten rid of all home safety hazards, you should remember that kids can still have tumbles and falls. It is your responsibility as a parent to keep a close eye on them at all times. A baby monitor will help you have an extra pair of eyes on what your baby is up to.
These safety tips will go a long way in preventing accidents from happening in your home. Some measures may seem unnecessary but they are very important. If you adhere and follow our tips, you are assured that your child will have the best memorable moments of their lives, just like you. You don’t want to look back to some stupid accidents which you could have prevented and regret. Remember baby proofing your home is an ongoing process as your bundle of joy continues to grow and explore new things.