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:firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile (07884 430862)
Call 0207 559 1491 for more info, or visit www.babysafehomes.co.uk.