We all like to think of our homes as the safest place possible to bring up our children. But the reality is somewhat different. Children have an inquisitive nature. When combined with their inability to recognise danger, it's no surprise that so many young children end up in an emergency room due to household accidents.
Think about your home for just a second - there are dangers everywhere. Without acknowledging them, you run the risk of your children suffering serious consequences. Here’s my guide to making your home a safe place for your kids.
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Stairs are a natural attraction for young children as soon as they start to crawl. The problem is, they are only aware of what’s in front of them, not behind them. They’ll make it three-quarters of the way up with no problem at all, but as soon as they look down they will be scared, confused and unsteady. It’s at that point that a bad accident can happen. Make sure you have stair gates blocking off steep inclines to prevent them getting carried away with their new-found skills.
You should also think about using gates to block off the most baby-unfriendly room in the house - the kitchen. Sharp knives, heavy objects and slamming doors can all cause severe damage to little ones. Not to mention the chemicals and toxic cleaning products that most of us use to keep things clean.
Electricity and burns
Electrical points are a constant source of fascination for children, and unfortunately they love to explore with their fingers - and mouths. Make sure that you have power point covers for any electrical sockets in your home so that they aren’t tempted to prod and probe with their tiny digits.
Also, think about the vast array of places that children can be burnt. The kitchen is an obvious threat - so keep those coffee mugs and boiling pans well back from their reach. But also think about your heaters. All it takes is for a small pair of hands to reach out and grab one, and you could be faced with your child getting serious burns. Take a look at these Ampwire radiator heater guards to see the kind of protection you should be thinking about.
Finally, don’t forget about the bathroom. As your kids grow up there will be moments when you run them a bath and get on with other tasks. If they happen to see the water in there, they may well decide it’s time to dive in. So, you should get in the habit of filling your bath with cold water first, and then adding the hot water to warm it up. Doing this will reduce the risk of scalding.
Smoke and gas
Fire is an obvious concern for all households, and smoke inhalation can affect small children very quickly. Get a good fire alarm installed and don’t be too irritated if it is over sensitive - it might save your kids’ life one day.
Also, don’t forget about the silent killer - carbon monoxide. It’s a by-product of burning fuel in the home, and if there is a buildup in your living space it can result in illness and - in extreme cases - death. Get a carbon monoxide alarm to give you the right protection for your family.
I hope this has been helpful - if you have any further tips I would love to hear from you. Until next time!