Home safety

Children need to be free to explore their world and our job as parents is to create an environment where they can do this safely. We need to be especially vigilant around driveways, poisons and water. About two children a week die from accidents and a classroom of children each week is admitted to hospital. Falls, burns, choking, and cuts are some of the main culprits so it pays to take a look around your home to ensure it is as safe as possible. Getting down on the floor and seeing the environment from your child’s level will help you recognise dangers.

Top Safety Tips

1. The best place for babies to learn to move is on the floor. It’s also the safest place to change nappies.

2. If your house has stairs use a stair gate to prevent your child falling down them.

3. Furniture should be placed away from windows and any windows children can reach need safety catches on them.

4. Place baby’s cot away from blind/curtain cords and opening windows.

5. Put bright stickers at a child’s eye level on large areas of glass.

6. Always keep hot drinks out of children’s reach and never drink hot liquids while holding a child. Electric kettles should have a wide base and short or curly cords. Push them to the back of the bench.

7. When cooking use the back elements first and always turn pot handles away from the front of the stove.

8. Keep matches and lighters and candles out of reach of children.

9. When running the bath, put cold water in first, and then add the hot. Always test the temperature before putting your child in.

10. Install smoke alarms and check their batteries twice a year. A good time to do this is when the clocks change for daylight savings.

11. Take your baby’s bib off for sleeping. Never put your baby to bed in a hood.

12. Knot plastic bags and keep them well out of reach.

13. Always know where children are before you drive off and always supervise children around vehicles. Its a good idea to separate play areas from driveways.

14. Keep all medicines, chemicals and cleaning products in their original containers, up high where children can’t reach.

15. Never use food or drink containers to store poisons. Ask for child resistant caps for medicines and make sure these are done up tightly.

16. Think about what might be in the bags of visitors; many pills look suspiciously like lollies and can be tempting for children.

17. Keep the phone number for the National Poison Centre handy – 0800 POISON/ 0800 764 766.

18. When infants and babies are in the bath, maintain hand contact and never leave them alone. Children drown quickly and silently.

19. Your baby or young child is fascinated with water. Emptying paddling pools and buckets when not in use and making sure your swimming pool is correctly fenced will help prevent drowning.


Latest news and features