Whether you are a new parent or have friends with children, home safety for kids is paramount. As young children start to explore, there are so many hazardous things in your home to identify. To help you navigate this, we have put together eight top tips from a variety of resources that include Kids Safe Sa, Child and Youth Health and ADT to increase home safety for kids.
We all know that leaving medicines or pills on low tables or in handbags can spell disaster, but we often forget about our visitors. If a friend or family member comes to visit and leaves their bag unattended on a couch or counter, they’re a prime target for inquisitive children. Instead, put guest bags into a room with a closed door, in an entrance closet or on a high counter out of reach.
Slamming doors or unlocked windows can mean disaster for little fingers. Fitting your doors and windows with safety latches, such as LockLatch, will help keep your child safe. These allow you to lock your doors and windows while still enabling you to let air in, therefore preventing accidents such as a door slamming on fingers or a child falling through an open window. This is particularly important when you have a multi-level home in a gated community where the top floor windows may not have additional burglar bars and balcony doors don’t have slap-lock security gates.
Glass doors can be incredibly dangerous for young children. To prevent accidents, fit your glass doors with safety glass and stick decals or stickers. These two things will go a long way in preventing an accident (stickers) and ensuring that if the accident happens, it will be far less serious (safety glass).
Always have emergency numbers listed for the fire department, your security company, the ambulance service, the police and your family doctor ready and available. If there is an emergency and you are unable to give the number, then a friend or neighbour will have access to this valuable information, which can save precious minutes in an emergency situation. Place them in a few places, such as on the fridge or next to the home phone.
As we know leaving lighters, matches and candles around is hazardous … If children can see it, they will play with it and fire is particularly fascinating to them. Store candles out of reach and lock your firelighters, lighters and matches away from small hands. Child proof locks are also useful when storing flammable or harmful substances. Teach your children simple steps to follow in case of a fire emergency. This Safety from fire article offers some great advice.
Electric sockets can be very tempting to little children, and it only takes a minute with your back turned for them to touch what they shouldn’t. Investing in child safety covers for your sockets are essential for peace of mind. We also suggest unplugging all unused appliances, not only does this prevent children from pulling down something which could harm them but it also means they cannot switch on appliances which can be dangerous.
Panic buttons are usually placed at an adult height, so be sure you have a spare portable button available for older children to use if need be. It is also helpful to have a safety procedure in place that you can teach your children, should they face a security threat or possible break in while they are at home. If you are looking for more tips on burglary prevention, check out our 7 Common Burglary Myths Debunked article featured earlier this month.
From paraffin to pool acid, our homes are full of dangerous poisons. It is not only important to store these away and make sure they are securely fastened or closed at all times, but knowing what to do should a poisoning occur can literally save lives. For example, the instinct is often to make a child vomit when they have swallowed something harmful, however this can be life-threatening as opposed to helpful in the event of an accidental swallowing of paraffin. For a comprehensive list of poison do’s and dont’s, here is healthychildren.org’s Tips for Poison Prevention and Treatment.
There you have it, eight tips to keep your home safe for children.
Author: Steve Pearce