If you're getting ready to have your first child, you're doubtless going about more preparations than you can even keep track of. In the end, it's more exciting than tedious, but that doesn't mean that you won't be as busy as you ever remember being! Part of the process that is sometimes neglected until last minute, however, deserves particularly careful attention: baby-proofing the home.
When you first bring your baby home, it's important to have various potential hazards in the home taken care of, so that your baby can't easily get hurt! Here are 7 specific tips for your baby-proofing process.
1. Cover Corners
Your baby won't be roaming around the floors right off the bat, but the time will come soon enough, and you'll want every corner and edge in the house softly covered. You'll have plenty of options, from foam to rubber, for materials to cover up these surfaces with - just be diligent about application!
2. Cover Outlets
Outlets may not seem like much of a risk factor, but infants seem surprisingly curious about them. There are plenty of outlets covers available, but try to find the "sliding" type, rather than the plugs (as babies sometimes pull out and choke on the plugs).
3. "Scrunch Up" Tables
Or at least, scrunch up their contents! When your baby starts crawling or walking (or even reaching from your arms), he or she will likely develop an enthusiasm for messing with the contents of tables and surfaces. This not only creates a mess, but can cause injuries as well - try to keep objects toward the centre of surfaces.
4. Put Down Non-Slip Mats
This is a pretty simple step. In bathrooms and kitchen areas (anywhere that can be wet), babies can slip and fall easily, which of course can cause injury - or at least a crying fit! To avoid this issue, try to lay down non-slip mats wherever necessary.
5. Tape Down Cords
Tripping, gnawing, getting tangled, tugging - these are all issues that can occur when a baby mixes with a loose power cord! To eliminate these risks and inconveniences, tape down cords along corners
6. Prepare Your Insurance
When your baby starts to get a bit older, you'll likely start having play dates with other couples with young babies - and just because babies are so vulnerable to small injuries, you may want to make sure your insurance has you covered for liability. Talk to Aviva about home liability coverage, and compare options and rates with various insurers to be sure this won't become an issue.
7. Move Products Out Of Reach
Finally, you'll also want to keep potentially harmful chemicals out of reach. Things like window cleaners, stain removers, etc. are often kept in low cabinets or on the floor of laundry rooms, etc. These products can be very harmful for your baby, so keep them safely out of reach!
What’s not to love about Christmas? The gifts, the turkey feast and the magic of Father Christmas, his elves and Rudolph; all of it contributes to that happy glow that seems to radiate from family homes throughout December and early January.
The festive period is perhaps the one time of year when families can really enjoy each other’s company, with the kids free from homework and mum and dad off work for even a few days. It’s when dusty old board-games are dragged down from the loft, or the latest computer game is brought out for everyone to have a go at. Cinemas too are suddenly filled with parents and their kids, all desperate to see this year’s festive smash hit – and with that in mind we’ve rounded up the best films for everyone in the family…
Best for little ones: Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings
Fairies and Christmas go together like yin and yang, making the release of Tinkerbell’s fourth animated story, her first in 3D, a sure fire hit with youngsters this December! Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings sees Peter Pan’s favourite fairy lead a group of hibernating animals to the forbidden Winter Woods where her wings start to sparkle, much to her delight. However, her presence in this new world breaks strict fairy law and throws the seasons out of balance, threatening the survival of the wondrous Pixie Dust tree. However will she fix it all?!
Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings is in cinemas from Friday 14th December.
Best for tweenagers: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
It goes without saying that there’s a lot of anticipation for this first instalment of Peter Jackson’s new Hobbit trilogy, based on the success of the preceding Lord of the Rings films. Part one is set sixty years before the events that were played out in Lord of the Rings and sees Gandalf task miniature hero Bilbo Baggins, supported by an army of thirteen dwarves, with defeating a dragon named Smaug to reclaim dwarf kingdom Erebor. Gollum makes an appearance, as do a whole host of other creepy creatures. Will Bilbo be able to defeat them all?
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is in cinemas from Friday 14th December.
Best for teens: Pitch Perfect
If your little girl has asked for singing lessons and a karaoke computer game this year, you can bet she’ll love this fun US flick which revolves around a singing competition at Barden University. It sees new girl Beca being forced to join the University's all-girl a cappella group by the pushy Aubrey, who overhears her singing in the shower. Beca goes on to revolutionise the group’s somewhat dull repertoire and encourages them to perform some risky mash-ups (the big thing in music right now, if this season’s X Factor performances are anything to go by…), but will it be enough for the mismatched singers to triumph?
Pitch Perfect is in cinemas from Friday 21st December.
Best for grownups: Les Misérables
As far as epic musical-to-film adaptations go, Les Misérables looks like it’ll be up there with the best (see this trailer if you don’t believe us!). You ought to know the story by now; paroled prisoner Jean Valjean is trying to right his wrongs and bring good to civil war-torn 19th century France, but this version brings with it an A list cast comprising Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne. It’s been directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper who insisted that all the stars sang live on-set. Will this one be the best version yet?
Les Misérables is in cinemas from Friday 11th January.
Best for grandparents: Quartet
King of the big screen Dustin Hoffman turns director for the first time in this story of the reunion of four retired opera singers. And, this one has another all-star cast, featuring the likes of Billy Connolly and Dame Maggie Smith. It’s set in middle-England, at a retirement home for musicians, and sees famous soprano Jean Horton join the ranks with a bang, having previously been in a quartet with four of the residents, one of whom she married and then divorced. Will her diva-like behaviour threaten the home’s annual performance?
Quartet is in cinemas from Friday 4th January.
We have teamed up with Argos to give away a Babystart Delfina Wardrobe for one lucky reader.
Everyone knows that children grow up so quickly, so finding space to store all their new clothes and toys can often be difficult.
This solid pine wardrobe is an essential piece of Nursery furniture that will look good in any baby’s bedroom for all those new and old baby outfits.
It also has plenty of hanging space and a handy drawer at the bottom, which is ideal for sleepwear or folded items of clothing.
This everlasting piece of furniture will look good in any room even when your baby grows up.
For a chance to win the competition, answer the following question by leaving a comment here (sign in on Mums Like You first) or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the best sales offer on Argos’ online store at the moment? (Tip: go to www.argos.co.uk to find out.)
- The winner will be selected at random on 17 November 2012
- Delivery will be within 28 days of Argos receiving the winner’s address, and the competition prize may vary at the discretion of Argos
- The prize as described will be supplied direct from Argos, and there is no cash alternative
Use a brush as a broomstick
Help mum or dad carve / draw a face on a pumpkin or turnip
Get messy and make some spooky green gloop (www.playtalkread.org/play/get-stuck-in)
Give mum or dad a scare and shout boo! (www.playtalkread.org/play/fun-and-games)
Pull a scary face in the mirror (www.playtalkread.org/play/baby-play)
Make a scary skeleton snack!
Look for apples (or grapes for little ones) with help from mum and dad
Get busy in the kitchen – help mum and dad make some spooky pasta
Transform yourself into a Halloween cat – ask mum or dad to use make up or face paint to draw whiskers and a nose on your face
Make your own witches brew! (www.playtalkread.org/play/play-tips/264-paper-plate-pumpkin-faces)
Visit the library and read a scary story (visit www.playtalkread.org/things-to-do/search/library to find your nearest library)
Use a bed sheet to become a ghoulish ghost
Draw a picture of a haunted house
Help mum and dad make some yummy boo-bananas
Stuck for holiday inspiration to keep older kids (and you) entertained? Here’s a quick-fire guide for parents with wanderlust.
A is for Action and Adventure
It’s important to find enough activities in your destination if you have easily distracted travellers to keep occupied.
Tenerife – Get their adrenaline pumping with supervised caving or paragliding for confident kids in Playa de las Americas, or walk through incredible ancient lava tubes at Cueva de Viento.
Algarve – Zoom round a replica Formula 1 track at Karting Almancil or try a Jeep safari through the landscape to discover the best of Portugal’s nature.
B is for Beach
This is the classic option for families who want to escape the rat race and discover the coastline.
Lanzarote – Known as the Hawaii of Europe, kids can body board and surf in Famara or simply get snap-happy photographing the incredible waves.
Majorca – Known for its great beaches from Magaluf to Alcudia, you can practically guarantee sunshine on this Mediterranean island. Go snorkelling together or visit the Nemo Submarine in Magaluf to plunge 20 metres underwater.
C is for City Breaks
There are plenty of child-friendly city breaks out there if you all want to get some culture and see the sights.
Prague – If you have a budding musician in the family then take them to Prague’s jazz clubs to hear amazing local music. Alternatively, keep everyone happy with a tasty trip to the Chocolate Museum.
Amsterdam – The Museum Quarter will inspire creative kids with its spectacular artwork, including plenty of Van Gogh. Amsterdam is also perfect for exploring on two wheels: it’s known as the cycle city.
Classic family getaways to suit all budgets can be found at easyJet Holidays and Lowcostholidays.com.
TEN RAINY DAY ACTIVITES TO ENTERTAIN THE WHOLE FAMILY
With an unprecedented amount of rain this summer, most children are starting to feel bored having played most of their computer games and completed their puzzles. So in collaboration with mums and dads across the country, Galt Toys has put together creative ideas to cheer up the whole family and spur the imagination.
Cooking – Children love cooking and eating pizza, from kneading the dough to making creative faces with the topping! It is also a great opportunity for children to practise counting, measuring and weighing. For extra fun give prizes for the most creative pizza toppings.
Indoor picnic - You don’t have to be outdoors to have a picnic. Gather the dolls and teddies for a creative mock outdoor picnic with a blanket, hamper packed with food, paper plates and plastic utensils. You could even get the children making a giant paper sun to hang from the ceiling.
Reading - Spend some quality time together snuggled up on the sofa with your child’s favourite book taking it in turns to read aloud, adding silly voices and actions for the characters in the story to keep it fun and exciting.
Disco - If you’re up for something a little more energetic, raid the fancy dress box for your best dancing queen outfits and have a dance-off in the living room. See who can make the wackiest shapes!
Pasta Jewellery - There is nearly always some left over pasta in the cupboard so why not put it to good use by making some pretty pasta jewellery. All you need is some string, glitter and glue and penne pasta – beautiful bracelets for everybody.
Treasure Hunt – Agree on the treasures you are going to hide around the house, small toys, wrapped sweets, stickers etc. Create a series of clues leading to the treasure - older children often enjoy doing these and the younger ones finding it.
Board Games - Everyone loves traditional board games, which are great fun and also help to develop important social skills, such as communicating, sharing, and taking turns.
Make Slime – Yuk! But children will love it. Fill a bowl with water, add a few drops of food colouring (green if possible) and then gradually stir in cornflour until the slime is the right thickness. Children under six should be supervised at all times.
Singing in the rain – Pull on your wellies and waterproofs and go splashing through the puddles singing as you go! Then come inside and warm up with some hot chocolate and marshmallows.
Have you got some tips on how to have fun with kids when the weather is not so good? Share them here...
Domestic violence continues to be the biggest problem facing women and children in this country with 1 woman in 4 experiencing domestic violence at some point in her life and 2 women a week in England and Wales being killed by a current or former partner. Let’s not forget the children, in 90% of domestic violence incidents in a family with children, children are in the same or next room, and in 50% of these cases, children are directly abused.
We know there are thousands more women and children across the country who urgently need to access Refuge’s services of emergency accommodation or seek legal, emotional and practical support. Through 2012 we will need all of our fantastic supporters to give as much as you can to ensure we can meet the complex needs of women and children fleeing domestic violence.
Please do read the newsletter and get involved with some much needed fundraising throughout 2012.
Fundraise for Refuge
Run for Refuge: Read about Refuge’s sponsored running events and sign up to the London Marathon, Brighton Marathon or the London based Royal parks half marathon. If you are not able to participate in London based events but still want to raise funds for Refuge, please sign up to runs, treks, walks and cycle events in your local area.
Throw a tea party for Refuge: Please hold a tea party, gather friends and family around and indulge in some delicious treats to raise much needed funds. We can supply tea party packs, leaflets, balloons and anything else you may need for your fundraiser.
Mobile phone and ink cartridge recycling campaign Refuge has launched its new mobile phone and ink cartridge recycling scheme. For every item recycled anywhere between £1 and £150 can be raised for Refuge. We are looking for Refuge recycling ambassadors to help us raise £10,000 this year! We can arrange for delivery of the bins and we will replace the bin when it is full. Please think about how you can support today – visit recycle for Refuge for more information.
by Chris Davidson, Home Guard Products
Summer is finally here, and with it the need to keep your child cool indoors by keeping the bedroom in particular ventilated, during the day and night. The obvious way is to open the window but as any parent will know, this raises safety worries.
There have been several recent stories children under the age of 5 suffering falls out of the windows. The question is, how can you keep the window open and ensure my child doesn’t fancy climbing out?
The reality is there are not many solutions available. Many go for the cost effective window restrictor, but they are quite easy to break and restrict how far the window can be opened. There is another alternative…the Child Safety Window Barrier.
A unique product in the UK, this vertical bar barrier fits across the window to protect the window opening, allowing you to fully open the window but protect your child from being able to climb up and out.
What is even more unque is the child resistant keyless locking system. A ‘push and twist’ lock allows the barrier to be lifted out and remove in 2-3 seconds, in the event it needs to be removed quickly.
To find out more, click on the link below:
By Sarah Ebner
It’s not long before the end of this school year, and the beginning of the next! For those children who are about to start school for the first time, this means a mixture of excitement, and perhaps a little bit of nerves. Here are some tips to help you, and your child, get ready for the big day.
IT'S HARD FOR TEACHERS WHEN A CHILD constantly wets herself, can’t wipe her own bottom and never remembers to wash her hands! So, hold back on teaching your child to read (what’s school for, after all?) and help her keep on the teacher’s good side in other ways. Work hard on making sure your little one is properly toilet trained and other aspects of “growing up”. It would be great, for example, if she could take her shoes and socks on and off, as this is really helpful for PE.
You can also help make life easier by buying shoes with Velcro (rather than laces), coats with toggles and skirts or trousers with elasticated waists.
Cut down on snacks
Once at school, children aren’t able to just eat on demand, so make sure they’re not used to constant snacking. State schools provide their youngest pupils with a piece of fruit for snack time, so you should try this at home too, swapping biscuits and sweets for fruit.
Learn a little
I wouldn’t go crazy about trying to teach your child before he or she starts school. We send our children to school at a much earlier age than many of our European counterparts. However, there’s no harm in helping them pick up letters from the alphabet (start with their name), or count the number of stairs or cars in the street. All this is rudimentary literacy and numeracy and can only be positive.
Read some books
There are some lovely starting school books, which I’d recommend reading together. My favourites include "I am Too Absolutely Small For School" by Lauren Child, "Topsy and Tim Start School" by Jean and Gareth Adamson, and “Kevin Goes to School” by Liesbet Slegers.
Talk about school whenever there's an opportunity
For example, if you’re reading, why not say "I wonder what kinds of books they'll have for you at school, I think they've got a lot of different ones to choose from". This can really help to embed the concept of school as a reality in a child’s mind. You can also go and visit, even if it’s just to take a look over the wall!
It can be overwhelming for children to sit and eat in a large, busy canteen. So, to help your child get used to 'eating in groups', you should try to sit down and eat meals as a family at least occasionally. Otherwise your child might find a school canteen really hard work. It would also help if she could use a knife and fork…
Practice the school run
That way it won't be so brutal on any of you on the day. Find out roughly how long it will take and, if you are going to be driving, where you might be able to park!
Sarah Ebner is the author of The Starting School Survival Guide: everything you need to know when your child starts primary school, published by White Ladder, available on Amazon or Crimson Books for £ 10.99
Shiva Rea, yoga trainer and innovator is back with another Gaiam collaboration - Mother & Baby Yoga. Mums Like You are giving you the chance to take a free sneak peek at the DVD with a free downloadable workout on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?=NZxUs8W1M3g&feature=youtu.be
Mother & Baby Yoga is the next chapter in the trilogy of Shiva and Gaiam DVD’s. A woman’s body goes through major changes in childbirth and although bonding time with a new baby is important, so is looking after your body. The four routines, aimed at mothers with infants that are 3-6 months old, focus on the body parts that have changed during pregnancy and the easy to follow, gentle workouts enable new Mum’s to get back into shape at their own pace. The baby can even be incorporated in some of the routines providing calm bonding time.
The ten minute workout, available to download is a combination of gentle arm movements and breathing which help to bring about a mood of complete relaxation. You can even place the baby on your lap or in front of you and pass on your relaxed mood while bonding.
Mother & Baby Yoga follows on from the previous Shiva/Gaiam release Pre and Post-Natal Yoga. This double DVD contains routines that help expectant mothers to feel relaxed and comfortable during childbirth as well as exercises that enable the muscles stressed during childbirth to regain strength and flexibility.
The DVD, Shiva Rea’s Mother & Baby is available now from www.amazon.co.uk for £12.99.
For the latest on Gaiam visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/GaiamInTheUK
The moto of the online retailer Tippitoes is ‘Affordable Quality’ and true to it, the company recently brought to the market its new Fuse pushchair.
For the past few weeks, I was on a mission to test drive it with my kids (boy 1 ½ and a girl 4 ½ yrs old). We went on short trips in the city but also took it when travelling abroad. We rode it on easy terrains but also on dirt tracks in the park.
We gave it a really good run and were overall very impressed by its resilience, ease of use and manoeuvrability. I’ll be more specific later, but first here are the facts about the Fuse pushchair:
forward facing pushchair, suitable from birth (due to its muliti-position recline with the lowest position at 20 degrees)
Lightweight at 8.2 kg
Multi back position recline adjustable manually with a harness (allows for more positions than standard 3-4)
Soft and comfortable seat with adjustable calf support
Front swivel wheels with all round suspension
Compact umbrella fold for storage and carry handle for easy transportation
Detachable bumper bar with gate opening for easy access
Viewing window on the hood
Storage pockets on the hood
Five point safety harness with chest pads for added comfort, height adjustable to accommodate a growing child
Footrest for added support
Max child weight: 15kg
What comes in the box
Front wheels (detached)
The RRP of the Tippitoes Fuse is £129 and you can get it at:http://www.tippitoes.com/shop-by-product/out-about/pushchairs-strollers/fuse-pushchair-black-standard.html
The Tippitoes Fuse is a good looking stroller with a square-edged aluminium frame, which is sturdy and stable even when sued by older/heavier kids. The seat is well padded and surprisingly spacious for an umbrella pushchair. I am saying this because we’ve tried other umbrella strollers which were quite narrow and uncomfortable for my son (approx. 13 kg. ½ yrs old). Again if you are using it for short trips to the shop only, it does not really matter. But if you spend more time outdoors and want your kid to nap, then the Fuse is really good for that.
The canopy is also quite large and has a neat ‘peek-in’ window. There is also an in-built net bag and large pocket to hold essentials. I managed to squeeze in snacks, bottle of milk, keys, phone and wallet - in other words all you need for a walk with the kids. The cup holder which comes with the stroller fits easily and is a really nice touch for mums on the go.
The shopping basket of the Fuse is probably not going to take all your day’s shopping but this is a small price to pay for a lightweight buggy.
I found the plastic (vertical) handles comfortable contrary to other what some other people report. Bear in mind that they are not extendable though and not a ‘one-hand’ job on most terrains.
Otherwise the Fuse is very easy to push; swivels quickly and due to its size can manoeuvre easily in narrow spaces (read shopping isles).
The fact it can be used from birth makes it a great buy especially for parents that do not want to spend hundreds of pounds on expensive ‘all-singing’ travel systems.
The Mums Like You verdict: It’s a high-quality, excellent performer in its class and one of the best priced pushchairs on the market.
Speedo® - the world’s leading swimwear brand - which parents can play with their children to help teach them how to swim and to feel confident and happy in the water.
Parents, you’re the target in this task. As the ‘skittle’, stand five metres from your child in the water and cheer them on as they take it in turns to walk, skip, hop, jump or paddle through the water to ‘bowl’ you over (drop to your knees if it’s shallow!) Encourage them to use their arms to propel through the water, using floating aids to help with buoyancy. For the ‘big strike’ they must kick their legs to paddle through the water to hit the target. As their confidence grows try the game again, but travelling backwards, or even sideways through the water. To vary the game, use a waterball as a different type of target.
2. Starry Sky
This is a safe technique, which teaches children how to float on water. Support your child with floating aids as they stretch out horizontally on the water, like a big star in the nightsky. Once floating, encourage them to lift their head and chest, and using their arms, change to a standing position. When they feel confident, help them to float on their front with their face submerged, before rotating to a standing position once again.
3. Frog Hopping
Teach your child to jump like a frog into the water - knees bent, back straight and with confidence. For the first few tries, use floating aids and hold their hand as they learn the technique. The ‘frog’ starts with toes gripping the edge of the pool looking forward; then jumps away from the side, landing on their feet with bent knees. Kids love this activity, so always remember to check the pool depth first.
Surf’s up! This technique is important to learn as the ‘push and glide’ is the foundation of all swimming strokes. Staying straight like a surfboard, your little ‘dude’ pushes off from the side of the pool, gliding on their back through the water. Try to keep hips and head close to the surface and stretch the arms ahead or to the sides. Until your child feels confident going it alone, use floating aids to help with buoyancy.
5. Treasure Island
It’s time to get their feet off the floor! In this task you’re a treasure island. Stand five metres away from your child in the water and encourage them to paddle towards you, using their arms and feet to kick and push through the water. Using goggles to help them keep their face partly submerged as they paddle, and help them to dodge floating treasure (e.g. waterballs). Use floating aids to give extra support while they develop their technique.
Working Families’ new web tool guides parents through all the options and helps them find the balance which works for them
It can be difficult to know what working hours to do when you have a child, especially if you are returning to work after a period of leave. You will need to weigh up factors such as childcare costs, travel to work, earnings, and any other help you might get, for example, from tax credits.
That is why work-life balance charity Working Families has launched a new web tool which will steer you through all the options on tax credits and childcare vouchers, and give you additional information to help you choose your best work pattern.
The new web tool will guide you by:
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->helping you to weigh up all the options and consider all the factors when you’re deciding how many hours to work
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->giving you an insight into how childcare vouchers work, the interaction between income and tax credits, and how the help you are entitled to is likely to change from one tax year to the next
<!--[if !supportLists]-->· <!--[endif]-->asking you about your specific circumstances, so you will get different advice depending on whether you’re single or live with a partner, and whether you’ve recently returned from maternity leave, or need to change your hours for other reasons
The new guide sits alongside the Working Families popular Flexible Working Webguide which helps you consider what hours you will be able to negotiate with your employer. You can find both guides on the charity’s website here.
Those in need of further help or unable to access the web can still call the Working Families Helpline on 0800 013 0313 for one-to-one advice
Persil and Mums Like You are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a year’s supply of Persil small & mighty!
Persil has teamed up with the ultimate face of outdoor adventure and dad of three, Bear Grylls, to inspire families to shake off the constraints of modern life and enjoy the simple pleasures of life outside. With this in mind, Persil and Bear have created a ‘Top Ten Things To Do Before You’re Ten’ handbook, designed to get kids playing, having fun and getting mucky, which can be downloaded from www.persil.co.uk/bear.
Persil small & mighty is designed to take on the toughest of stains, like mud and grass, so kids can take on the toughest of outdoor adventures - just like Bear Grylls!
For your chance to win a year’s supply of Persil small & mighty login or sign up to Mums Like You and invite as many friends as you can to join the network. The competition winner will be drawn at random on 30th April 2012.
If your kids love getting mucky outside, Persil is also holding the first ever ‘Today I Am…’ Adventure Day with Bear Grylls on 26th May 2012 and your child could be one of just 140 kids from across the UK to attend. Simply buy any pack of Persil to be in with a chance of winning!
With over 500,000 visits to A & E from kids under 5 years old in 2011*, a survey of hundreds of UK homes by safety experts, Baby Safe Homes, reveals new risks from today’s furnishings and equipment. RoSPA’s Make it Safe campaign is drawing attention to the dangers of blind cords, but Baby Safe Homes, the leading child safety company in the US, which recently launched in the UK, reveals some of the other common baby and toddler safety issues to beware of in today’s homes:
Flat Screen TVs unsecured
These are heavy and often within easy reach of a toddler, on furniture which is unstable or easily climbed. If not mounted on a wall, TVs can be pulled over by a curious toddler. This risk has been overlooked in every home visited by Baby Safe Homes to date.
RoSPA reports that the most severe accidents to children in the home are caused by falls from height**. Baby Safe Homes observed many homes with unique, complex stairs, eg spirals, open tread, or wooden and slippery, each presenting a unique and significant risk to toddlers if no barrier is in place to stop a child going up or down.
Pressure gates at the top of stairs – unstable and a trip hazard
Pressure gates are popular, as they are easy to fit and don’t require any drilling, however, they create a dangerous trip hazard, particularly for sleep-deprived parents. Screw-fit gates are a safer option and drilling can often be avoided by using bannister post bracket kits.
Heated Towel Rails – A burn hazard
A heated towel rail could be a burn hazard, especially for a toddler that likes to hold on to things to pull themselves up, or cruise along. If there is no way of regulating the temperature of the towel rail, it should be turned off.
Book shelves and storage units unsecured
Many UK homes struggle with lack of storage and this becomes more acute when babies arrive, with a plethora of toys and baby equipment. While there are many cheap and easily assembled shelving units available, they aren’t always stable, but can be secured safely.
Commenting on the thousands of safety hazards he has observed, director of Baby Safe Homes UK, Chris Jones, says, ‘I’ve seen balusters like those on a comedy film, where toddlers could easily push them out and fall through. On the other end of the scale I’ve seen parents who have padded every available corner, on every wall or hard surface. Parental supervision is always the best safety measure available. First time parents are understandably nervous with a newly mobile baby or toddler in the home, but there is a middle ground between excessive baby-proofing and doing nothing. Our service takes the hassle out of the task of preparing a house for an active toddler.’
How and When to Baby Safe
Baby Safe Homes recommends parents stay slightly ahead of their child’s development, for example putting stair gates in when the child looks ready to crawl. It’s better to take the time to adjust to the equipment before it’s absolutely necessary.
When deciding how long to keep gates in place, every child is different. Once a child is confident on stairs and can be relied upon to hold on to the bannister, parents should consider allowing more access. Most children are ready for this after their third birthday. Anything that the child has found a way to get around, should be removed immediately.
About Baby Safe Homes UK
Learning what equipment is on the market and finding the right safety products for your home can easily turn into a frustrating and confusing research project, and it could then take several days or weeks of DIY to fix the safety equipment. Baby Safe Homes UK, a RoSPA member, provides a clean, fast and affordable service to baby safe the home.
The company will carry out an initial survey of a home and provide a consultation on safety issues to be remedied, for a nominal fee, from £25. A list of tasks and recommended products is provided and the company can then install all the required equipment, the same day, in a matter of hours. The company’s experience means they know the most appropriate and best quality safety products to install. If the same day installation service is chosen, the initial consultation will be free. Installation costs vary according to what needs to be done and equipment costs are competitive to those found on the high street or Internet.
Baby Safe Homes are offering one blogger on Mums Like You the chance to test their services and get equipment worth £300 installed in their house. The company is looking for a blogger ideally living in London or the home counties to trial their service and write up about their experience on the Mums Like You website and their blog including information about Baby Safe Homes, their telephone and URL. If you are interested please contact Annabel Hillary on:email@example.com or mobile (07884 430862)
Call 0207 559 1491 for more info, or visit www.babysafehomes.co.uk.
The news over the weekend that a 3 year old boy has sustained head injuries falling out of a window in London has again brought to the fore the issue of child safety in the home.
Whilst stair gates are a common and recognisable solution in the UK, window protection solutions are much less common. This is surprising considering the statistics, and just how frequent accidents occur as a result of falls through windows.
In the US, there are 14 emergency visits per day, or 5,200 annually, involving children under the age of 17, so states the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. (MedicalNewsToday.com; Aug 22, 2011).
Safekids.org, in their accident prevention factsheet, report that there are 3,300 injuries in the US involving children under the age of 5 annually.
On top of this, seasonality can have a large impact on when the accidents occur. Parents are more likely to open windows during the warmer months, when ventilation to the child’s room is important, yet safety is clearly been compromised.
So what’s available to counteract this problem?
Window restrictors are the most common and the most cost effective, but can be broken with a little force. The other, more responsible solution is a physical barrier across the window. Whilst fire escape issues are a concern, this can be overcome if the product is quickly removable. This type of product is popular in the US, but until now seems to be quite uncommon, or unknown in the UK. Perhaps the frequency of accidents, and its subsequent press coverage, will alert more parents to this issue.
Chris Davidson, Director of HomeGuard Products, manufacturer of the Removable Child Safety Window Barrier
For more information see: http://www.home-guard.co.uk/protecting_children.php?
Introducing a great solution for responsible parents:
The Removable Child Safety Window Barrier by HomeGuard Products
- Protects children under the age of 5 from open windows
- Allows the room to be ventilated safely
- You can install it yourself
- It’s removable in seconds
- Simple keyless locking system
- Immediate telephone support for easy installation
Why has this product been created?
We noticed that there was not a responsible solution for protecting children from climbing out of windows. Numerous cases exist of this very occurrence, with Eric Clapton’s son’s death a well publicised example.
It was apparent that responsible parents needed:
- A solution that was a physical barrier for the child, but also allowed the window to be open so as to keep the room ventilated.
- A solution needed to be quick and easy to install and to remove.
Parents may not want the barrier up all the time so the barrier can be removed quickly, particularly in case of fire. In fact, building and fire regulations insist on this being the case.
If your window sits less than 800mm from the floor, you are obliged under Building Regulations Part K2 to have a barrier for children under the age of 5.
How easy is it to install?
Very easy! You or your husband can do this. All that is required is 2 sidebars drilled and secured into the outer window frame or brickwork internally. We would not drill into UPVC windows in order to protect your guarantee, but will be able to install around any type of window. The width of the barrier is variable depending upon the width of your window, typically from 200mm upwards. The main barrier simply slides into place, sitting on hangers on both sides of the sidebars.
The barrier is then secured with a keyless locking system. The locks takes 2 seconds to lock, or unlock, allowing you to put the barrier in place, or remove it virtually immediately.
- It’s a unique UK product
- A solution is required by law if your window sits less than 800mm from the floor
- It is independently tested and approved as a “safe product”
- It is strength tested: can withstand 32 stone/460lbs
To find out more, please click here: http://www.home-guard.co.uk/protecting_children.php?
Since Monday the 27th February, Tommy’s has been running a ‘New for Old’ campaign with Brantano Footwear, where customers can bring in their old shoes (in any condition) to their local store and receive a £10 off voucher to redeem against any purchases of £40 or more. Furthermore, Brantano will donate 20p to Tommy’s for every pair of shoes handed in.
This will help fund Tommy’s research into pregnancy complications so that the charity can continue to help parents all over the UK.
The campaign runs from Monday 27th February to Sunday 25th March.
For more information visit www.tommys.org/newforold and for your nearest store go to www.brantano.co.uk
The average mother will pass on 41 ‘pearls of wisdom’ to her children says a new study and showsthat kids always remember the advice their mums pass down.
Most commonly heard tips include “Always try your best” and “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.
Mums are also likely to encourage their children to do well in life, by advising them to “get an education – no-one can take that away from you” and “you only get out of life what you put into it”.
And most importantly, mums want their kids to look on the bright side – always telling them to “smile” and claiming “life’s too short to be unhappy”.
In fact, mum’s advice is so precious seven in 10 adults regularly repeat her pearls of wisdom to their own children and 48 per cent of respondents continue to think their mums offer the best advice despite being all grown up.
HERE ARE MUM’S TOP ‘PEARLS OF WISDOM’
AlwAlways try your best
If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all
Get an education – no-one can take that away from you
Eat with your mouth closed
If you don’t ask you don’t get
Never spend money you don’t have
Never take sweets from strangers
Never swim on a full stomach
Treat people with respect
What would you like to pass on to your kids?
Spring is not far away and Mother’s Day is just around the corner. This year we’d like to celebrate Mother’s Day by giving you – our very special and talented mums, an opportunity to show off your achievements. In the run-up to Mother’s Day we invite you share on our Blog area something that makes you especially proud as a mum. It can be a parenting success or a professional achievement, a challenge you’ve overcome or an experience that has made you stronger. The best postings will featured on Mums Like You and will get mentions in our next newsletter.
We also have 5 copies of ‘Mum in a million’ – the latest book by Judith Holder, to give away to five lucky mums. In this affectionate, amusing and mischievous book, Judith Holder pays tribute to motherhood covers everything from mothers through the ages, to maternal anxiety, to those dreaded things she says and why she says them: “You’re not going out dressed like that”, “Look at me when I’m talking to you’ and the classic: “because I said so”.
To post your story, you’ll need to login to your account and post a blog here. (Link backs to personal blogs and business mentions are welcome.)