Home is where a child learns the ropes of life. It is where he or she is nurtured, loved and cared for and where a child first begins to form an impression of the world around them. A child should feel completely uncompromised and safe within their homes.
A large number of accidental deaths among children is caused due to injuries and events taking place at home. Children sometimes walk out of the front door and into traffic or fall from balconies. Pets who are trusted in the house bite children or they accidentally injure themselves on plastics or kitchen utensils.
These horrid and unfortunate injuries can be prevented through awareness and action. There are quite a few steps that you can take to make your home safer for your child and a few of these are listed below.
- Water Hazards
Children hate getting into water, but once they get in water, then they hate getting out of it. Water lets them splash around and have fun while their parents fuss over them. However, as a parent, you should be especially careful around water.
Incidents of drowning have occurred in water that is less than an inch in depth. If you are giving your child a bath and someone rings your doorbell or the phone starts to ring, do not leave your child in the bath for even a second. Wrap your baby in a towel and carry him along. If you hire baby sitters and nannies, ensure that they are very clear about this point.
Take care to reduce the settings of your water heater to around 120 degrees F or 50 degrees C. Children are more susceptible to burns from hot water than adults are – so what seems hot to us will be extremely hot to them, and may hurt them.
- Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Over two third of fires in the home which have killed children below the age of 5 have happened in homes without fire alarms. Home fires mean that families have few minutes to get out of their homes safely. You can help your chances by installing a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. Smoke alarms should be installed in every room and in every floor of the home. Make sure that your alarms are working by testing them out each month. Remember to replace the batteries annually.
You should also educate the rest of your family about the smoke alarms and help them become familiar with the alarm system. Work on fire drills and on action plans execute when a fire does break out and involve even your youngest child in these drills. Discuss outdoor meeting points where everyone congregates in the event of a fire.
- Safe Doors, Windows and Stairs
Many children sustain heavy injuries due to accidental falls. Children can break their bones from falls from counter tops and beds so imagine the damage that can happen if they fall from a window or a stairwell. Ensure that there is as little clutter as possible to reduce the risk of your child tripping on anything lying around on the floor. Stairs should be kept clear at all times. Install safety gates which stop your baby from rambling onto the staircase.
Do not encourage your child to play near windows and other openings. Fasten windows and doors securely. Children can squiggle their ways through openings as small as five inches. Take care to remove all objects of interests from window sills in order to avoid having your child reaching for them and most importantly, remember to keep the front door locked at all times.
see www.childalert.co.uk for lots more practical advice