Parents will never stop worrying. Even though we know accidents happen, it’s an instinct to do everything possible to keep children safe – especially in the home. Parents deserve to relax a little, safe in the knowledge their home is a haven for little ones. And you should start childproofing from birth.
But risks can lie in plain sight. We’ve gathered some of the things that might have creeped past your watchful eye. To ensure you’ve done everything you can, check out our guide to preventing some of the most common accidents in the home:
Children not only fall from stairs, they can climb onto things you wouldn’t expect and take a tumble. Apparently the living room is the riskiest part of your home – largely due to furnishings and furniture.
As such, the guide recommends viewing each piece of furniture with suspicion. A bookcase, for example, could be a ladder for children. If furniture isn’t securely attached, it will fall over with the child. To avoid such a disaster, there are several varieties of straps and brackets that will secure your furniture. Just make sure you check the manufacturer’s guidelines for optimal safety.
- Scalds and burns
As NHS Choices explains, a burn is caused by dry heat – by an iron or fire, for example. A scald is caused by something wet, such as hot water or steam. They’re a common injury for children to incur in the home and often require immediate medical attention.
To avoid burns and scalds, you’ve got to be vigilant when using heat. When cooking, never leave hot pots and pans unattended at the front of the hob. When it comes to unexpected sources of dangerous heat in the home, radiators are the number one culprit.
For example, you might have run a bath at a gentle heat for your child but the nearby towel radiator could pose a risk when they get out. It’s worth teaching your little ones they’re hot from an early age and investigating whether you could put covers over them for when children inevitable become overly curious.
Suffocation is alarmingly common among young infants who lack the muscular strength to move themselves with ease. Most suffocation incidents happen to children under 5, and asphyxia (which also includes choking and strangulation) is the third most common cause of child accident deaths in the UK.
Plastic bags and bed sheets are among the greatest risks, while car boots and refrigerators are also appealing to curious children who can end up getting trapped. Duvets or quilts should not be used with babies under 12 months, and car keys should be kept out of reach of older children.
For sleeping, you can use lightweight sleeping bags (without hoods) to keep your children warm and safe. We’ve only touched on some of the key risks in the home, but with an eye for detail, you can make small changes to child-proof your house. You’ve just got to learn to view everything through the eyes of a child – you’ll suddenly see why there are many unexpected risks.
How do you keep your children safe at home? Share your recommendations with us.