child safety

Child Home Safety: How to Keep Children Safe at Home

Child home safety should be a priority for parents, because the majority of injuries to children take place at home. Knowing how to keep children safe at home is a benefit for any parent, but more importantly, also for the children.

There are so many hazards at home that it is next to impossible to isolate children from all the risks these hazards present. The following are just a few ways in which you can make your home a safer place for your children.

Risk of Burning and Scalding

Young children are curious, and bubbling pots on a stove or cooker will attract their interest. Many children have been scarred for life by reaching up and grabbing the handle of a cooking pot. This is a tragic lack of child home safety because it can be very easily avoided.

There are many different types of cooker guards available that prevent a child from gaining access to the pots and pans bubbling on top of a stove. Most of these provide a physical barrier that makes it impossible for children to pull a boiling pot from the top of the cooker onto themselves.

The control knobs are another hazard associated with cookers. Children can easily reach the controls that are located on the front of the knobs. This is fairly serious in the case of an electric cooker, but gas stoves are even more dangerous. Gas not only presents the risk of explosion, but also of suffocation. It is extremely important that you take all possible steps to ensure that your kids cannot turn your cooker on.

Cable Tripping Hazards

Children are more likely to be injured by tripping over trailing cables than adults. Youngsters in particular have not yet fully developed a sense of balance, and are more likely to fall over when they are tripped. It is sad but true that safety regulations in the office are more stringent than those employed by parents at home: while health and safety law requires trailing cables to be covered over, the same people that enforce these regulations in the office fail to apply the same standards in their homes.

This is very sad, and has led to many fatal or serious accidents involving young children that could have been avoided. You will find a good selection of cable covers or guards available online that will improve child home safety by preventing your child tripping over loose cables.

Falling Downstairs

Young children have a fascination for stairs. What child does not immediately head for the top when they come across a set of stairs! You must use safety gates to prevent your child gaining access to the stairs, both at the top and the bottom. There are various designs available, many of which are temporary installations that can be fixed without drilling or screwing.

Window and Balcony Safety

Children fall out of windows and off balconies. An important aspect of child home safety is to ensure that this cannot happen. The usual way is to prevent access by locking doors leading to balconies, and making sure that windows cannot be opened sufficiently for kids to get through them.

There are many different types of window locks available that enable the window to be opened sufficiently for ventilation, but not enough for a child to get through. Young children have not yet learned the concept of fear and they rely on you to keep them safe. You can do this by keeping your balcony railings at over 1 meter high - preferable up to 1.3 metres (4.5 ft) and restricting access.

Even if you have taken every possible step to prevent access to your windows and balconies, some kids will find a way. You can do your best to reduce injury if they do fall by planting bushes beneath windows and balconies to break the fall, or provide some other form of soft landing. It might not be effective, but you will at least know you did your best.

Child Home Safety and Poisons

Kids love colored liquids and they associate brightly colored pills with candy or sweets. Never store poisonous liquids such as weed killer, insecticides, slug pellets or cleaning fluids in pop bottles. Even if kept in the original containers, keep them locked away, preferably outdoors. Children have been poisoned by these substances, and also by prescription and OTC pharmaceuticals and drugs.

In order to improve child home safety you should carry out an inventory of substances in your home that are potentially poisonous to kids. Then devise a policy on how to store them safely so that children cannot gain access to them - either your own children or visitors.

Miscellaneous Home Hazards: Risk Assessments

Parents should carry out a risk assessment of their home. They should try to identify every possible hazard, and then the risk presented by these hazards: risk is the likelihood of harm. Here are some miscellaneous examples not already mentioned that you might not have thought of:

  1. Can your child fall head first into the toilet - perhaps trying to fish out a toy?
    Solution: Use a toilet lid lock.
  2. Can your child run from your driveway into a busy road?
    Solution: Use a safety barrier or net that makes the child stop and think.
  3. Can your child get access to kitchen knives and other dangerous tools?
    Solution: Keep all knives and tools at a high level or locked away.
  4. Can your child knock over candles or have access to matches?
    Solution: Never leave kids unsupervised in areas with naked flames, and keep matches and lighters locked away.
You might think that your children cannot reach high levels. Perhaps so, but they will try, and many accidents have been caused by children trying to reach items by standing on chairs or using ladders (like dad does).

Child home safety involves you thinking like a child, and then making sure they cannot do what you would do! Learning how to keep children safe at home might not be easy, but most parents manage and the above advice should help you to become one of the successful ones.

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