Think safe: turn off front plates

2014-08-30 00:00

FESTIVE parents were given a jolt at Durban’s Baby Expo yesterday after a graphic, and sometimes shocking, instruction session on home safety for toddlers.

In a presentation, Sister Marlette Visagie — a veteran Johannesburg paediatric nurse and nanny trainer — underlined her safety tips with sometimes tragic anecdotes on child drownings, scaldings and suffocations.

But the bracing lecture made an impact, with new parents Sashen and Nadia Govender, from Malvern, among those who resolved to make immediate changes to their homes.

Earlier, Visagie told all parents to simply abandon the use of the front two hot plates on their four-plate stove tops.

Nadia said: “She was very convincing — we’ll only be using the rear hot plates from now on. A few other changes too.”

Visagie’s childproofing tips included:

• placing the car seat behind the driver’s seat, rather than the passenger seat;

• removing all detergents from ground-level kitchen cupboards;

• never leaving a hot iron in a room with a toddler;

• to be particularly vigilant in the bathroom and kitchen; and

• running cold water first in the bath and then testing warm water with your elbow as adult hands are desensitised to hot water.

Above all, Visagie advised parents to “look at your home differently … With some simple, inexpensive changes, and by thinking differently, you can eliminate the risk and the worry”.

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