Make your home child-safe

2016-03-16 06:00

WHILE parents worry about protecting their children from violence and abuse in the world, they often overlook threats to their child’s safety at home.

Children between the ages of one and four are more likely to be harmed by fire, burns, drowning, choking, poisoning or falls than by a stranger’s violence.

Most effective way to ensure your child’s safety is to take the “babies-eye view” of your home. Get down on your hands and knees to see what things look like from their level – assess and take precautions:

In the kitchen:

• Install safety locks on cabinets and doors to keep children away from cleaning products, cutlery and appliances.

• Never leave hot pots or pans unattended on the stove. A child may try to reach for these, causing the hot contents to fall on them.

• Put latches on oven, microwave and refrigerator doors and install covers on all stove dials so your child can't turn on the burners.

• Dishwasher or washing machine – keep closed at all times.

• Remember to keep the toilet lid down.

• Put razors, scissors, nail clippers, tweezers and other sharp objects in a locked cabinet or high up well out of your baby's reach.

• Unplug all electrical appliances (hair dryer, curling iron etc.) and store them away in a high draw or cupboard.

• Store all medications and vitamins out of reach of children.

Place a non-slip mat inside and outside the bath and shower.

Never leave your child in a bath or shower unattended.

Cover sharp furniture edges with padding or foam.

Cover plugs with safety covers.

Hide electrical cords behind furniture or use cord-hiding devices.

Use doorstops and door holders to stop them from slamming into your child.

If you have a fireplace, install a grill and never leave a child unattended.

Keep electronic equipment like decoders, DVD players and stereos out of reach or locked up.

Secure furniture that can topple over (bookcases, chests of drawers for example).

Make sure that all pools are covered with the correct covers at all times.

Store and lock away all tools.

Ensure that your child cannot gain access to any fertilisers or pesticides.

Maintain play equipment. Ensure they do not show signs of wear or rust. Make sure safety netting isn't frayed or torn, bolts and screws are tightly fastened and "S" hooks are closed.

Ensure you do not have any toxic plants in your house or garden.

Taking a first-aid course will enable you to deal with any incident more effectively. New parents as well as caregivers and domestic workers should be proficient in CPR and basic first aid.

A comprehensive first-aid kit should always be kept at home should any emergency arise.

Keep a detailed list of emergency numbers pinned on the fridge and next to the phone.

A fire extinguisher should be kept in the kitchen. Ensure that it is out of reach of children.
- ER24.

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