Ever got curious about how to increase the safety at home for kids? Yes, because the house must be a safe place. A place where children grow and experience the world. One of the many parents’ task, but also grandparents or nannies, is to make home truly child-friendly. And It can be done, because despite what they say, it is not so true that “children are unpredictable”. They grow with predictable behavior pattern. These is the age of discoveries, the age of touching everything, the one of bringing things to their mouth. So, what to do ensure a proper safety at home for kids?
Let’s focus on the house first
At least this is what we’re aiming for. Because, unfortunately, children up to the age of 5 are the most exposed to domestic accidents (statistically before the elderly): around 4.5% of home accidents involve a child under the age of 5 (National Statistic Institute Source, Report on home accidents in USA, 2014).
This percentage clearly also depends on the time spent at home. Which is why home-schooled children are more affected than the ones going to the kindergarten. Stats also show an incidence determined by sex and age: up to the 14-17 age group, males are the most affected by home accidents. This is due to a different way of playing and a generally more adventurous attitude to experimentation. I have a daughter who has been a little Tasmania devil till…well..she still is.
The Safety At Home For Kids Plan
As I wrote above, children are far less unpredictable than we think. And this makes the prevention of potential hazards in the house a reachable goal.
Since each child’s age involves different risks, and each environment has its own potential hazard, I preferred to organize a list divided by environment (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) instead than by age. This hopefully will make the whole discussion more assimilable but more importantly more practical.
The safety at home for kids should be the priority also for baby sitters, aunts, grandparents and so on. Feel free to share this article with them and with anyone is guarding or keeping your children when you’re out.
Safety at home for kids: the kitchen
The kitchen represents the home, warmth, intimacy and affection. Unfortunately, it is also a place of many and variegated dangers. In fact, it is here that meals are cooked, and where there is fire and heat there is the risk of burns.
Kitchen is the zone where the highest concentration of sharp objects, such as knives, blades and scissors is found. As well as “small” things that are easy to put in the mouth or in the nose, like lentils or raw pasta. These are the NR 1 responsible for airway obstruction if swallowed. By the way: it is always a good idea to take a course on pediatric desobstruction maneuver. This will be the topic of another article. Finally, detergents and other hazardous substances if swallowed or in contact with the eyes can harm the child in several degrees, from temporary to permanent.
So here’s what to do:
- do not cook with the baby in your arms, and do not leave pots with the handle facing outwards. Children (from 2 years onward) are very curious and risk grabbing everything and pulling it on themselves. Above all, never go away, leaving the child in the kitchen if the fire is lit up.
- Still on the risk of burns: at the meal time, before feeding the child (valid from 6 to 18 months), always check the temperature with the test “of the back of the hand”. Secure the child very well to the high chair (6 to 24 months) and keep any sharp or blunt objects out of reach.
- All shelves, drawers, kitchen doors must be locked with a child lock. From the age of 9 months, the small crawler arrives anywhere, the dangers of the house are all within the reach of his little hand. I definitely suggest these child locks.
To avoid the risk of poisoning and intoxication, you:
- keeps cleansers and toxic substances in places that are not accessible (from dishwasher rinse aid, to bleach, to vodka);
- never pour toxic liquids into anonymous bottles. Leave everything in the original containers and from the age of 3 begins to teach the child to recognize the warning signs;
- do not store alcohol in bottles without a label, to avoid mistakes
Bathroom is another key place involving the safety at home for kids. The main dangers in the first years obviously concern the time of the bath. But also burns and falls. Let’s see what to do:
- pay attention to the bath temperature; the water must be around 98.6 ° / 100.4 °, use the “elbow test” to avoid mistakes (from newborn to 3 years);
- never leave the child alone in the bath: a child can drown even in 5 cm of water (3 months to 3 years) or even better use these dedicated bathtub.
- attach the changing table firmly to the shelf where it rests, check that it has padded sides and make sure you have everything close at hand, so you don’t even have to turn around to look for something (1-12 months);
- immediately empty the tub after the bath and remove any type of object that could attract your child (12-18 months);
- put non-slip mats on the shower and bathtub floor (from 2 to 5 years);
- do not leave the hair dryer unattended, do not allow the child to dry his hair by himself and immediately dry any pools of water (from 2 to 6 years).
The next steps
Every house is different micro world that needs to be assessed by the newly parents in order to make it the safest cradle for their babies. My goal here is to show you how to go gradually from an environment adult friendly to one child proof. Therefore, what I suggest is that you go around your place with your loved one or alone it doesn’t matter and visually make note of the places that need your attention, such as stairs, apparel and so on and then list on a notebook the “worse case scenarios” so that we can plan together in the following articles the ways to make your place safer. Write me down below your question on particular areas to child proof, I’ll be happy to give you my advice.