Making sure your home is safe for the whole family can seem like an overwhelming task. The last thing you want is for your house to be unsafe and you run the risk of family members, especially children and babies hurting themselves. After all, we can’t be everywhere all of the time so it makes sense that in our absence, we feel confident the whole family is safe when at home.
A great way to see what hazards are around your home is to get down to your child’s level. What can you see at theri eye level and how can you make your home safer for them?
In the first instance, making sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit will prove to be handy and give you extra peace of mind. Keep it stocked with items such as the following;
- Antiseptic wipes and cream
- Safety Pins
- Crepe Bandages
- Sterile Dressings
- Painkillers for adults and children
- Cough Medicine
- Distilled Water
- Eye Bath and Wash
How can you make your home safe for all members of the family and anyone who visits?
Secure All Exits.
Not in the way that you are barricading your children inside so they can never leave. But make sure that all doors and windows are child-proofed so they can’t open them on their own and leave the house, or indeed let someone in without your consent.
Look at moving handles on external doors upwards and out of reach of small hands or adding in extra security features to make it harder for them to let themselves out. Windows can be secured with latches or window guards that prevent them from opening too wide or creating a barrier and enabling an escapee.
This is especially important for higher floors above ground level. We all know kids can be quick and agile and sometimes all it takes is a couple of seconds and they are gone and getting into mischief.
These days, a lot of our homes require electrical outlets to make it work. Securing all cables from inquisitive hands will save any mishaps when it comes to little ones getting into spaces they really shouldn’t! Because this is always much more fun than anything else!
Use cable ties for electrical outlets to secure them and reduce the risk of children becoming tangled in them. If you can, consider covering the area or blocking it off to keep them out of harm’s way.
Look at anything else that may have cords or cables attached to them and look at ways you can move them out of reach. Window blinds, light pull cords all can pose a risk to young children. Secure them to the wall or tie them higher than they hang if you can.
Where possible secure all units, drawers, wardrobes etc to the wall. Children like to explore their surroundings and having these items secured to the wall will make sure that they don’t topple over should children be overzealous when around them.
Injuries from falling furniture is a leading cause of visit to the ER for young children as is falling down the stairs.
Cover Heat Sources
Fires and radiators along with hot water can scald skin and cause burns of various degrees. Fire surrounds, radiator covers are all great ideas of covering heat sources to keep little hands safe if they get too close.
Keep children away from running water and doors closed when you leave a bath running or sink filling with hot water. This will reduce the risk of children being able to access the hot water until you have made it safe for them.
Protect from Falls
Young children are still mastering their balance, especially toddlers. So making sure they are safe from bumps and falls should be a top priority. Cover any sharp corners on furniture and/or wall fixtures.
Fix wall-mounted safety gates around steps, uneven levels and staircases so young children can’t access when they are alone and reduce the possibility of them toppling down the stairs.
Lock Away Chemicals
Pretty much most homes will have some sort of chemical product in it. Whether it is cleaning products, laundry detergent or even decorating supplies. A lot of us tend to keep them locked away at all times but making sure they are secured away from children is essential.
Move them to a locked room, a higher cupboard or somewhere children can’t go. Make sure you put them straight away after use too to keep them out of harm’s way.
Top Tip: When undertaking any work around the home keep windows and doors open to eliminate fumes around the house. Pound for pound, children breathe in more air than adults so you want to eliminate any traces of allergens or pollutants to protect them further.
Teach Them How to Be Safe.
As they get older, discuss with them the potential hazards they could face around the home to help keep themselves safe when at home.
Small things such as knowing how to and when to call emergency services. Who to call if they need another adult, eg family or friend member and how to get hold of them.
Warn them of the dangers of opening the door to strangers and what to do if they are approached by someone they don’t know. Maybe you can develop a safe word so they know if you have sent someone to collect them from school in your place. Arming them with tips and knowledge as they grow will help to help you keep themselves safe.
Maybe you can even take self defence or first aid training classes together. This way you can be confident they know not only how to protect themselves but also help others who might be hurt or injured too.