Protecting Children in Your Home and Preventing Accidents

childproof your home

It is often necessary to make changes around the living spaces at home when there is a new addition to the family in for form of a child. These changes would become necessary mainly from a safety angle as the presence of a child in the equation would require some serious considerations in this particular area. Get all the info you need here.

Most young children love to explore their surroundings, and it is indeed the duty of the parent to ensure safety measures are in place to keep the child safe from any mishaps that may occur due to this exploration exercise. As children are usually quite oblivious to any dangers that could happen from these exploration exercises the parent would need to be extra vigilant in taking all precautions to keep the child’s safety a priority.

 

The Basics

The areas that may require some attention would include the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, laundry areas, outdoor playing area and any other areas the child is likely to wander into on one of his or her exploration expeditions.

Then there are also the items such as furniture, door, windows, stairways, electrical heating units, and cooling elements, and others to consider in the quest to ensure safety for the child is taken into consideration, and the necessary adjustments are made.

Statistically, it has been proven that children do encounter a lot of injuries within the confines of the home living space, as there is sometimes little thought given to seriously look into all possibilities that may contribute to an injury occurring.

Kitchens are a place where injuries often occur, thus the need to be extra vigilant in this area. Another important item that almost always is the cause of serious injury would be the staircase, hence the need to have the relevant safety measure in place to keep the child from gaining access to this.

 

Being Safe With Electricity

When it comes to the issue of safety and electricity, there should always be a checklist in place to help the parent ensure that all bases are covered, and the probability of accidents occurring is kept to a minimum if any.

 

No Shocks

The following are some of the areas that would ideally need some consideration when it comes to addressing the issue of safety for children:

Often parents overlook the need to be weary when it comes to unused electrical outlets. Children tend to stick objects into such outlets especially when left unsupervised, thus the need to have all unused electrical outlets covered with safety plugs at all times.

Having all major electrical appliances grounded would also be something to look into, as a curious child will think nothing of touching items that are in the “on” mode.

It would be a good idea to have long cords fastened against walls and also to remove any potential electrical fire hazard possibilities such as overloaded electrical sockets and electrical wires running along floors and under carpets.

Radiators and baseboard heaters should be covered with childproof screens at all times, and gas fireplaces should be secured with a valve cover or a key of some sort.

The fireplaces should also have a screen and other barriers in place whether in use or not. Cleaning chimneys often is also another element that would require some attention. The parent would also have to ensure that all electric space heaters are placed at least three feet from any other items such as beds, curtain, or anything that would be considered flammable based material.

As another precautionary measure, the parent should have all emergency contact numbers posted in a visible and convenient location should any mishaps occur in spite of all the precautions taken.

 

Being Safe With Fall Hazards

All children are curios creatures and as soon as they are able to balance themselves on their feet, the exploration journey begins. This can often be quite a nightmare for the parents as safety issues would be the priority when it comes to keeping the child from causing injury to themselves.

No Falls

Falls and falling objects are often the leading cause of many child-related injuries, and these can sometimes lead to the death of the child. Fall hazards are particularly reoccurring actions in younger children, contributing to more than half of the injuries they may sustain throughout their various growth stages.

Therefore the parent should take all measure to ensure or at the limit the possibility of the child encountering such injuries due to the fall hazards in place.

Keeping all staircases clear of objects is one of the first steps to take in the quest to make the living environment safer for the child and to avoid falls that would undoubtedly cause injury.

Keeping furniture away from windows and other opening is also something that should be given priority as the temptation to climb such objects or to use them as a lookout point is quite reasonable for any active child.

Statistically, there have been many documented cases of children climbing on furniture dangerously place close to the window, thus causing them to fall out, thus the need for attention in this area.

Ideally, all safety gates should be placed at the top and bottom of staircases to ensure there is no easy access for the child to this area thus limiting the possibility of injury significantly.

Teaching a child not to run with things in their hands will also be something worth adopting, as most injuries occur when children are unable to balance themselves adequately thus falling over and causing injury to themselves.

 

Safety With Poisons

Children often find themselves in trouble when they get into things that are not supposed. The parent would have to take all necessary precautions to ensure the higher safety measures in place when it comes to poison based items.

 

What’s Around The House

Often parents are not alert to simple daily household items that could be poisonous, thus exposing the child to unnecessary injury should the child gain access to such things. Everyday items such as fertilizer, antifreeze, medicines, makeup are all potentially poisonous items that can cause serious injury to a child playing with or consuming such items.

When it comes to childproofing medication container, it would be an added safety measure to place such container out of the child’s reach rather than to depend on the safety valves in place, as this does not necessarily guarantee the child safety.

Leaving medicines around even for a moment is not a good idea as a distracted parent will present the ideal opportunity for an unsupervised child to simply consume the colorful looking objects without knowing of its potentially poison elements.

Children are usually good observers and almost always try to copy the actions of an adult; therefore it would be a good idea to keep items such as vitamin bottles, aspirin bottles, and any other medications, away from kitchen tables, countertops, bedside tables and any other surfaces where the child can easily gain access to such objects.

Also telling a child that the medicine tastes like candy is not a good idea as this will act as an incentive for the child to gain access to the said medication.

Should visitors be staying for a period, the parent would also have to ensure objects such as handbags and bags that contain items such as pills and other medication be kept out of the child’s reach.

Safety With Choking Hazards

Choking hazards has contributed significantly to the injuries of many small children, and most often these are caused by common household objects and toys which seem to have a fascinating pull for children. These objects are popularly stuffed into the mouths of a child without the child having any clue as to its potential danger, thus causing the accidents and injuries to occur.

Small Items

As babies and young children seem to put objects into their mouths instinctively, it would be an excellent exercise to practice keeping anything and everything out of the child’s immediate reach radius.

Among the more popular choking hazards when it comes to food items would be nuts, hot dogs, grapes, hard candy, popcorn, raisins, raw carrots, and spoonfuls of peanut butter and chunks of meat.

These kinds of food object should be carefully fed to children, and it would be even better to avoid such food altogether until the child is bigger and better able to manage to eat such items safely.

Other items that seem to be the popular causes of choking in children are small toys and balloons. The toys are designed to be put into the mouth when the process of inflating takes place, thus the understandable action that might cause the child to accidentally swallow or breathe in the balloon causing it to be stuck or caught in the windpipe.

This, of course, is a very traumatizing state to be in for the child as the confusion of not being able to breathe will be further complicated by the panic the child is likely to experience.

This fright could also lead to the child crying hysterically which will further heighten the danger of the situation.

Therefore in the quest to keep choking hazard from becoming the contributing factor to a child’s injury, the parent should ensure all toys and item the child plays with are completely safe.

Emergency Contacts And How To Use Them

Although it would seem like a reasonable and straightforward task to expect every household to be able to have on hand, emergency numbers, contacts, and their uses are rarely within visible for everyone to refer in case of an emergency.

Keep A List

Perhaps the first thing to do would be to find out the various support services available within the vicinity and to ensure all these relevant numbers are on hand in case there is ever a need for any of these support services.

Then the parent would need to teach the child the uses for these various numbers and what they should be called for.

Failing which having the general 911 number explained to the child will help the child should panic or the young age of the child not permit the understanding of deciding on the other emergency numbers and their relevant uses.

There may also be a need to learn about the law in a particular area about the use and execution of calling on the services of an emergency relief support.

These laws usually cover matters of the emergency hospitalization, civil inpatient and outpatient commitment, initiating court order treatment and federal health insurance portability and accountability act.

Ideally, the standard emergency contact list should include various elements such as a standard support person or persons that can be relied on to step in whenever there is an emergency to be dealt with.

These such persons should be knowledgeable in the family’s medical history, and any other information about the health of the family member, so they can furnish such information to medical personnel should the need arise.

The contact numbers of mobile crisis teams, the program of assertive community treatment teams, local hospitals and clinics in the vicinity, local advocates for advice and support and any other contact numbers that the parent deems essential in case of an emergency.

Internet Safety

Keeping a child safe should ideally be a prime concern of any responsible parent, however, with the distraction of all the activities the adult world churns up, it is often easy for things to go by without the parent’s constant need to monitor.

Computers

There should be some attention given to the use on the internet by children as this is a window to the outside world where dangers are very much present at every turn and for the innocent and unsuspecting child, trouble can be the order of the day.

A responsible parent should be able to have certain restrictions in place when it comes to handling the issue of internet access for the child.

Initially, it would be wise to take the time to explain to the child the various negative issues that are prevalent through the use of the internet and ensure the child is fully aware of the negative consequences that would follow.

Simply forbidding the child, would not deal with the problem adequately as not every child would obediently follow a parent’s instructions and restrictions.

This is especially so when there is the added intervention of peer pressure to do something that would be wise or safe. There are also tools that come in the form of various software that can aid the parent in initiating some control of what and how much web access the child is privy to.

Being aware of what the child is surfing for on the net and the contacts made through this platform is very important, as children are usually very trusting and are more likely to give out personal information to anyone they feel comfortable with.

Children are also easily lured into doing things that are undesirable and will usually follow along until it becomes too late to pull out or object.

The Dangers Behind Not Child Proofing

The actual childproofing act can take on several different levels and these would largely depend on the age of the child involved.

Safety First

The gauge to be used would ideally be one that is dictated to be acceptable by society at large so that the parent will not be subject to any involvement with the law for failing to take the necessary precaution to ensure the safety of the child in their care.

Childproofing does come in many forms and are in the area of restrictions on children in safe areas or preventing children from reaching unsafe areas.

All these childproofing exercises can be initiated by the parent or in some cases professional services on the matter can be sought.

One of the more common areas that would require the attention of a childproofing exercise would be on the subject of electrical safety. If this is not looked into, chances of an unfortunate and unwanted incident occurring are certainly rather high and can be deadly too.

There have been many reported cases of tragedy due to children sticking things in electrical outlets using paper clips, metal object, and others.

Physical access the things around the house is also another common cause of accidents among children. This is especially common when the parent is distracted even for a second and the child’s curiosity takes them on an exploring trip into danger. This seemingly short distraction can cause irreversible damage as children are quite quick and agile and can get into trouble quite easily.

Wrapping Up

Failing to take the task of childproofing the living environment and the area where the child would have most freedom would be something the parent may live to regret. Therefore for the prime reason of ensuring the child is reasonably safe, childproofing is the best option to start with.

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