Child Safety - the Eight Deadly Sins - Keeping Your Child Out of Hot Water
There are '8 deadly sins' as far as child safety is concerned.
Please keep in mind all of the following can be lethal to your child and take adequate preventative measures.
1. Burns & Scalds
With a little bit of ingenuity and cash you can make your home childproof. Of course the best prevention is supervision, although toddlers being what they are, are full of mischief and will always find a way to outsmart us.
A child proof home makes for a more relaxed environment , which is conducive to your child's well-being and mental development.
Children are very impressive escape artists.
Burns & Scalds
Many children manage to get burnt very easily. It only takes a boiler of water too close to the edge of the stove, or easy access to a hot water tap. Seconds is all it takes for a child to burn their tender young skin on an iron or heater.
a. Never leave a heater or a hot appliance unattended with a child.
b. Put a lock on the oven and a stove top guard on the hotplate. Stove top covers are a good idea because they prevent the child from turning the knobs on.
c. Always have the saucepan handles turned to the back of the stove and use only the back burners if possible.
d. Lower the temperature on your hot water system to less than 50 degrees C.
e. Don't use tablecloths that hang over the edge of the table. It is safer to use place mats, because your toddler can't reach and yank these.
Children can very easily choke on small items. Even food can become lodged in their throat. Coins, small batteries, beads, buttons, peanuts etc all have been known to choke a child. Toys can also be a problem.
a. Learn the Heimlich Maneuver in case of choking. See the link below.
b. Place locks on all cupboards that the child can access.
c. Don't leave small items laying around.
d. Make sure that toys do not have small bits that are easily removable.
e. Supervise when the child is eating.
Sharp objects are extremely dangerous to your child. Knives, scissors and other tools can all be lethal weapons in your child's hands. Sharp edges on tables, coffee tables etc are also a hazzard. Glass doors also need to be examined for danger.
a. Locks on all cupboards and drawers where sharp objects and glasses etc are kept.
b. Limit access to garages and sheds where tools etc are stored.
c. Protective covers on all sharp edges of coffee tables etc.
d. Stickers on clear glass doors so that it is visible, to avoid collisions.
e. Make sure your glass doors are made of safety glass or have a safety film.
Unfortunately drowning still occurs far too often. Any body of water, even a toilet is capable of becoming a weapon. It only takes a few centimetres of water in a bowl for a child to drown. The following can prevent these unfortunate accidents.
a. Safety fences around all pools.
b. Locks on all taps or limit access to the rooms where taps are.
c. Toilet lock on the bowl and lid.
d. Don't leave any containers laying around that can fill with rain water. Including water bowls for animals.
e. Never leave the child unattended in a bath or shower or pool.
Toddlers are extremely inquisitive and will insist on poking and prodding powerpoints with all sorts of objects.
a. Powerpoint plugs will prevent this.
b. Remove electrical appliances from the bathroom.
c. Do not leave any appliances plugged in and unattended.
Children can quiet easily become entangled in curtain or blind cords and strangulation is quiet possible. They have also been known to get trapped in balustrades and cot railings.
a. Keep cots and beds away from windows where blind cords are dangling.
b. Always use blind cord wind-ups.
c. Make sure your cot is compliant with Australian Standards and that the mattress fits snugly.
d. Check the width of any balustrade gaps.
e. Always ensure extension cords, ropes etc are secured and out of reach.
Make sure your cot is child safe.
Poisoning is extremely common for toddlers. It can occur from many items including medications, cleaning products, pesticides, pool chemicals and many other items in the family garage and shed.
a. Install locks on all cupboards which contain poisonous items. Including the laundry cabinet and under the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
b. Secure the refrigerator with a latch, especially if you are storing medications.
c. Make sure all medicines are under lock and key and preferably at a high level.
d. Keep a bottle of Ipecac syrup on hand and the Poisons Information Centre phone number near your telephone, as well as your local ambulance and hospital numbers.
Falls are the highest cause of injuries to children under 5 years old. My children were extremely active and certainly developed a talent for attaining heights that were not conducive to their safety. I hope the following will help you maintain your child's safety.
a. Position furniture away from benches, so that they can not use it as leverage.
b. If possible make your chairs hard to move to another location.
c. Remove lower limbs on trees, so that your child does not have a step up.
d. Put safety gates or barriers on steps and stairs, and use them to close off entire rooms which are danger areas.
e. Pad all sharp edges on furniture.
f. Make sure that all your climbable furniture is anchored down. It is very easy for a toddler to bring book shelves etc down on top of themselves.
g. Never leave your child unattended in a high chair or nappy change table either.