Every year from June 4th to 10th, the Child Accident Prevention Trust runs Child Safety Week – a week dedicated to raising awareness of common child accidents and how you can stop them from happening.
This year, we want to look at baby-proofing our homes and how we can make sure houses are as safe as, well, houses!
If you’ve got a new little one or a toddler that’s just started toddling, here are some of our top tips on preventing accidents at home.
In the Kitchen
The kitchen is probably one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for babies and your best bet is to install a childgate on the door and make sure your little one is never in the kitchen unsupervised. However that isn’t always possible so it can be a useful to install cupboard locks and straps and make sure cleaning products, detergent capsules, and any other dangerous substances are out of reach. It’s also a good idea to opt for appliances with short or curly cables to make sure they can’t be grabbed and pulled down from the floor.
In the Bathroom
The main dangers in the bathroom lie in the medicine cabinet and the bath. Make sure all medicines, cosmetics, and cleaning products are kept out of reach in a locked cabinet. Install a slip-proof mat in your bath or invest in a bath seat to make sure baby stays upright in the water and never leave a child alone in the bath. Thermostatic mixing valves are also a good idea for taps and shower heads to make sure water is never scalding.
In the Bedroom
Every year babies and toddlers are admitted to hospital with burns caused by straighteners or other heated hair tools, which can stay hot enough to burn for up to 10 minutes after use. Buying a heat proof bag for your styling tools is a great idea as you can pop them safely away even though they’re still hot. In children’s own bedrooms, make sure any toys with small parts are put safely away before bedtime and that your child’s bed is placed away from hazards such as windows or radiators. Nightlights can also prevent any falling or tripping accidents should your toddler decide to get up in the night.
In the Garden
While babies shouldn’t be in the garden unsupervised, toddlers and crawlers can find their way into places they shouldn’t be! In case of this, make sure any ponds are either covered or securely fenced as well as securing the garden to make sure children can’t make their way into neighbouring plots where they might find other ponds or unfriendly pets. If you install any outdoor play equipment, make sure to surround it by impact-absorbing surfaces to prevent any nasty bumps.
Throughout the house, there are lots of nifty gadgets you can use to baby-proof against danger: plug covers, safety gates, window catches, edge and corner guards, and fire guards can all be used in every room to keep your little one safe.
For more information on Child Safety Week and what you can do to keep children safe around the home, check out the Child Accident Prevention Trust website now.