As parents, we all know that making sure our homes are baby proof is vital to protect our children from harm. Children don’t have a sense of fear, and they are naturally curious. This can lead them to precarious situations and potential damage.
But the thing is, as an adult, you can sometimes become blind to the dangers around your home, and unless you put yourself in your child’s shoes, you won’t be aware of what is an actual risk and how best to protect them from harm.
With 80% of accidents involving under 5s happening at home, what are the best ways to protect your young child from having an accident at home?
Clean Up Spills Immediately
If there is a spill of liquids, grease, or anything else that could cause you to slip and fall, wipe it up as soon as possible to avoid slipping. Pay particular attention to slippery spills such as oils or even room spray settling on a slippery floor – parents recently lamented the fact that a popular crease releasing spray turned their hard floors into ice rinks. Use appropriate cleaning tools to ensure the risk of slips and accidents due to spills is reduced.
In bathrooms, use anti slip bath mats to avoid leaving pools of water on the floor after baths or showers.
Rugs should be secured with non-skid pads or purchased with slip-resistant backings to prevent them from moving about and creating slips. Another option is to use double-sided carpet adhesive to hold the rug in place while being installed.
Pay Attention to Hot Liquids
Whenever you have young children in the house, you need always be cautious about where you place that hot cup of coffee. Avoid putting hot liquids on tables where there is an overhanging runner or table cloth. The child may tug on the fabric, causing the liquid to spill on them. The bottom line is to avoid leaving hot beverages in a place where youngsters can get to them.
Check Your Water Temperature
Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to burns caused by hot water. Check that the water temperature in your water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to minimise unintended burns as much as possible. This is especially important at sinks where children are encouraged to wash their own hands or on mixer taps where it can become easy to turn the handle the wrong way.
Store Cleaning Products Higher
All cleaning products should be kept in a secure location where children and dogs will not access them. Put them in a cabinet with childproof locks, or better yet, store them in a high-up cabinet that is out of the reach of children. Remember, these products contain harmful chemicals for both humans and pets, so finding a home for them that isn’t easily accessible is vital.
Children love to climb and explore. It’s part of what helps them to learn, and when possible, it should be encouraged. However, furniture around the house isn’t the most ideal climbing equipment; everyone can agree to this! Secure all heavy furniture to walls to reduce the likelihood of them tipping over and hurting your child. These days, most furniture comes with strapping you can affix to the back of the item and the wall where you will position it.
Pay Attention To Your Stairs
Many different types of accidents can occur on stairs for a variety of causes. Make sure your handrail extends the entire length of your staircase, that your carpets are securely fastened, and that you do not place area rugs or mats at the bottom or top of the steps to prevent falls. Additionally, if you are painting stairs, it will be helpful to incorporate some sand into the paint to increase the traction on the stairs. If you have exterior steps that are not well lit, paint the sides of the steps white to be seen even in low light.
Separate Electrical and Water
Even though this should go without saying, incidents resulting from the combination of electronics and water nevertheless occur every year. Ensure to keep devices away from moisture or in an area where they could fall in or be pulled into the water by a youngster. This includes items designed to be used around the bathroom, such as razors or even hairdryers if you have a vanity in your bathroom. Use socket covers for extra security around the kitchen and bathroom water areas, including en-suites if applicable.