Accidents. More accidents happen in the home than anywhere else and, shockingly, more children die annually because of accidents rather than illnesses, such as meningitis.
Bathroom. As children become more independent and curious, the toilet often becomes a new ‘toy’ and the bathroom is a favoured playground. Use a toilet lid lock to prevent valuables being lost down the toilet; it is also fundamental you make sure that all bottles and medicines are stored away in a locked cabinet. If cabinets don’t lock, simply fit cupboard and draw latches to make it secure. Remember that children can drown in as little as one inch of water so it is critical that your child doesn’t enter the bathroom without your knowledge.
Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT). CAPT is a national charity committed to reducing the number of children and young people killed, disabled and injured as a result of accidents. For more details visit www.capt.org.uk.
Draws and cupboards. Curiosity usually leads to accidents and for many toddlers and children what is hiding behind cupboard doors and drawers hold the most fascination. Store potentially hazardous substances in wall cupboards and securely lock drawers containing any sharp or dangerous objects. Keep little hands out of hidey holes with Lindam’s extensive safety accessories range, including catches, covers, locks and latches.
Electrical sockets. In 2008-09, 60 children (under 15) were admitted to hospital after an electric shock however nowadays children are at very little risk from electric shocks as electrical sockets are designed to be safe. Electricity can be dangerous in other ways; old electrical appliances and wiring and children playing with electrical appliances, can cause burns and house fires.
Fireplaces. Needless to say, children should be kept well clear of fireplaces. You can keep them out the room entirely with safety gates or you can protect them by putting a fire or hearth guard around the fireplace. If you have a gas fire in place of your fireplace, be sure to prevent little hands from touching any of the glass or metal around it as it will be very hot.
Grandparents. According to a recent survey by CAPT, a quarter of grandparents caring for a crawling baby or toddler don’t have a safety gate fitted in their house. With one in three mothers in the UK receiving help with childcare from grandparents, it’s important to ensure that your child receives the same level of safety with their family as they would at home.
Heat. Six toddlers are admitted to hospital every day because they’ve been badly burned! Remember, a baby’s skin is 15 times thinner than an adult’s and it can take only five seconds for a toddler to suffer third degree burns from water from your bath’s hot tap. Also, hair straighteners can stay hot enough to severely burn a young child 8 minutes after being unplugged.
Inspect. Inspecting the world through a child’s eyes is a good way for parents to be more aware of the possible danger points and make their home safe. Get down on your hands and knees and look out for sharp corners, plug sockets, trip hazards and falling objects. You will often spot things that you wouldn’t even notice when standing.
Just say no! All children are naturally inquisitive but parents and carers have to help them with the boundaries so that they don’t get themselves hurt by trying something just a little too high or a little too fast. It’s important to let children to explore their surroundings and try out new experiences but help them to do this at your pace and not theirs.
Kitchen. As one of the most hazardous rooms in the home, toddlers are at risk from burns and scalds, potential poisoning accidents and it’s also a place where sharp objects lurk. Prevent burnt fingers by using the back burners on your hob rather than the front ones and always making sure that the handle is facing backwards and not overhanging. Store cleaning products in wall cupboards so they are out of reach or use draw and cupboard latches to secure the area. Make sure the cap is turned to the ‘off’ position on cleaning products and where possible buy products which have child safety lids. Try to limit the number of utensils you use, so you don’t lose track of any or risk knocking one on the floor.
Lounge. In a recent survey of 3,000 parents conducted by Lindam, the lounge came out as the most dangerous room in the home. Many of us go to relax and feel comfortable in there and children can often spend a lot of time playing with their toys and watching TV. Sharp corners on furniture can be overcome by fitting corner cushions, loose wires on the ground should be covered or removed from reach if possible and breakable objects should be moved out of your childs reach.
Make life easy. Being safe doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s important to assess your environment and take a few minutes to make it safe both for you and your child. It might take time out of your day but it could save heartache in the long run.
Never leave. Suffice to say, you should never leave your child unattended where potential dangers lurk. The kitchen and bathroom in particular should be off-limits to children if you are not around to supervise. For added peace of mind, you can fit a safety gate to the doorways of these rooms or simply use a play pen to secure your child in a safe area if you need to leave the room.
One second. It only takes a second for children to have an accident but remember it also takes only a second to prevent one.
Ponds. During 1995 to 2005, 68 children under the age of six drowned in the back garden. During 2005 alone, five children drowned in garden ponds – this is still about the average per year. Teaching your child how to be safe and confident in and around water will go a long way towards ensuring their safety in the garden or even in the park.
Quick thinking. Problems and accidents can often be out of your control but you can do your best to equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to act fast in a situation that requires quick thinking.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). RoSPA is a registered charity that has been at the heart of accident prevention in the UK and around the world for more than 90 years. It promotes safety and the prevention of accidents at work, at leisure, on the road, in the home and through safety education. www.rospa.com.
Stairs. Research carried out by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in 2002 found that falls account for 44% of all children’s accidents – with falling down the stairs being one of the most common toddler accidents. Fitting a safety gate such as the Lindam Easy Fit Plus safety gate at the bottom and top of the stairs and removing trip hazards, such as stray toys, will help to stop your little one taking a tumble.
Trips. Slips, trips and falls are the most common accidents in the home and lead to more than a million people going to hospital annually. Where possible, remove loose objects and clutter from the floor, and make sure electrical equipment wires are securely tied out of reach.
Understanding. Lindam recognise that children should not be prevented from learning and developing naturally but they need to grow in a safe environment protected from serious harm. Whilst toddlers are blissfully unaware of the dangers that hide behind every door and in every room, it is vital that parents are fully aware of these dangers and most importantly how to remove them.
Visibility. Talk to your children about the importance of being seen and encourage them to wear reflective items when they are out and about, especially in winter when it gets darker earlier.
Water. Bath water should be approx 6cm – 8cm for a baby and no higher than the waist of an older child when they’re sitting down. In water, babies can roll or topple over at anytime as they can’t control their movements. If they slip under the water, they might not struggle or make a sound at all. A momentary lack of supervision can lead to disastrous consequences so it is fundamental that babies are never left alone in the bath.
X-Ray Vision. It would be extremely helpful for parents to have X-Ray vision if unfortunately your child has an accident so we would know exactly how to help. However as none of us are superheroes then it’s important to know some basic first aid so that you help to treat your children in the event of a minor accident before seeking proper medical help.
You. You are the only one who can prevent accidents. Children are not aware of the risks that everyday items and situations present to them. By educating them and putting preventative measures in place both in and out of the home you can help to prevent serious mishaps occurring.
Zzzzz. Yes, you even need to be safe in sleep! Most children will roll out of bed at some point – be prepared by fitting a padded bed rail to stop falls on to the floor. A safety gate is also a good idea to attach to the door so your little one cannot get up and wander in the night.
Lindam is the UK’s Number 1 home safety brand and offers safety solutions for the home. Lindam has created a virtual tour on their website where you can test your baby safety knowledge, visit www.lindam.com or join our facebook page on www.facebook.com/lindamUK