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Having your child cause injury to themselves within your own home is a scary reality that many parents don’t want to face, or more commonly, don’t recognise.
In a study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), mothers were asked to identify items that would be considered hazardous to their toddler. The mothers only flagged 40% of the real risks and made statements like “my child isn’t interested in going near the toilet” or “my child would never play with matches.”
But the truth is, if you’re not equipped and careful, then serious household injuries can occur to any family. However, it’s a relief to know that with the correct preparation, harm to your child is preventable and avoidable. If you have a toddler, apply the following tips in each room of your home to ensure your child remains safe.
Keep Candles and Matches Out of Reach – No matter how undeveloped their fine motor skills are, with access to matches, it’s possible for your child to start a fire accidentally.
Mount Your TV – We bet your child loves watching TV! They might even enjoy it so much that one day, they attempt to climb the TV to join their favourite characters. To avoid any accidents, you should mount your television to the wall, along with any TV stands you may own.
Cover Your Power Plugs – If your power plugs are exposed, your child could easily stick a metal object inside the holes and electrocute themselves. Keep your power plugs behind furniture, or better yet, buy covers for your plugs.
Remove Small Objects – Small objects, less than 3cm in diameter, left lying around your home can block the throat of your child and cause them to choke. Always be mindful of your surroundings and make a conscious effort to store all small objects away.
Protect Table Edges – Whether your child is learning to walk or is already running around the house impersonating superman, table edges can be a harmful enemy. If your child collides with a sharp table edge, they may badly hurt their forehead or eye area. To avoid this type of injury, you can apply edge guards to your tables.
Install Cordless Blinds – Blinds with cords have the potential to strangle your child if they get caught in them. If your blinds have cords, you can eliminate the hazard by cutting the cord. However, if possible, it is recommended that you invest in new cordless blinds.
Anchor Your Furniture – All furniture including (but not limited to) dressers, desks, wardrobes and stands should be anchored down. Let your toddler’s inner climber be reserved for when they’re being supervised on a playground, not when they’re at home unattended.
Gate Your Kitchen – The kitchen is a space that contains many potentially hazardous objects. To ensure your child remains safe within your home, the best solution is to completely gate-off your kitchen.
Secure Your Cleaning Products – Most detergents, disinfectants and cleaning chemicals are lethal if ingested and should, therefore, be kept securely locked away.
Lock Your Stove and Oven – Ovens and stoves are often used frequently in households and can be intriguing to toddlers. To avoid injuries and burns, it is recommended that you lock your cooking appliances or invest in a mechanism that allows you to keep it off limits. Furthermore, when cooking, keep all handles away from the edge and facing inwards.
Store Your Cutlery Away – No matter how convenient, cutlery such as butchers knives should never be left sitting out. Kitchen utensils should be stored away in a safe place that can’t be accessed by your toddler.
Cover Your Tub Spout – Bath Time can be a fun, but also slippery place. To avoid any bumps and bruises caused by your bathtub’s spout, you can purchase a protective rubber device.
Lock Your Toilet – A toilet may seem like a strange place to explore, but for a toddler, a toilet is just the right height to access head-first. To avoid possible drowning, your toilet seat lid should be left closed and should be kept shut with a latch.
Put Your Appliances Away – Appliances, when not in use, should be stored away safely and securely. This applies to all household appliances but particularly bathroom appliances. We all know that water and electricity don’t mix.
Additionally, if you’re unsure about what could pose a hazard for your child, get down on their level and take a look around the house from their point of view.
We understand that injury to your child can be a scary subject to talk about or even think about, but it is essential to share information on staying safe so that families can be prepared and protect their children.