Childproof Your Home
The distress caused when a child is seriously injured at home is immense
The safe haven that is home is full of hidden dangers - childproofing your home provides protection to both your children and your property. Childproofing can save minor injury, and often permanent disability or in some cases lives. It has become a billion dollar industry in the United States and Canada where there are over 20,000 qualified professionals.
Here we outline some of the concepts behind making your home safer for your children and the potential hazards that can be avoided with a little forethought and planning.
What is childproofing?
It is taking practical measures to prevent injury and ensuring that parents understand the potential dangers in their home. Childalert is helping to empower parents with practical advice to protect their children
Curious children left unattended, even for a moment, will wonder into rooms that hold potential dangers. All parents wish to provide the very best possible environment for their young children to grow up in and any unnecessary bumps, tumbles, burns, fractures, and even more serious injuries can easily be avoided with a little understanding and common sense of the dangers and how best to avoid them.
Childproofing is no substitute for responsible parenting; the slightest distraction like the telephone ringing or another child requiring attention can cause the one you’ve been looking out for to be off courting trouble. Make sure your environment is safe.
Just how safe is your home
‘Get down on your hands and knees and see the world from a toddlers eye view – you’ll see what they can see and reach for’
‘Stairs to tumble down, sharp corners to fall on to, plug sockets to poke inquisitive fingers into and all manner of interesting machines crying out to be investigated. Your safe, safe home can suddenly seem a dangerous place when you have a baby’
If you have young children, you frequently wish you had eyes in the back of your head.
Turn around for a second and an inquisitive toddler will decide to explore something dangerous.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident, more than 600,000 children aged four or under needed hospital treatment following accidents in the home.
A lot of parents have no idea how dangerous the home can be
The Department of Trade and Industry say most accidents happen in the lounge and dining room, closely followed by the kitchen, bathroom and stairs.
Lots of parents don’t have the time to fit safety gadgets and they haven’t a clue what to buy’ ‘They should be thinking about making their home safe long before their baby starts to crawl. By six months a rumbustious baby will want to touch, feel and taste everything within 4 ft of the floor
‘I was having my house built while I was pregnant and didn’t think about what having a baby would mean. I put in a spiral staircase which, in hindsight, I realised was impractical , but I discovered there are products which do look good, keep your baby safe and don’t cost a fortune.’
‘ We bought the house just before Daisy was born and rushed to get it renovated in time for her birth. She arrived one week early and the house was still unfinished. We worked day and night to complete it.
’If we’d had more time we would have done things differently. We would have hidden more of the wiring under the floorboards and thought more carefully about how we installed the bookshelves and cabinets. They are not fastened to the wall and could easily topple down onto Daisy’
Most accidents occur during the day, in particular between the hours of 6pm and 7pm, when people are often beginning to get tired and clumsy.
Another common time is during stressful periods, or when there is a distraction, for example when you are trying to cook.
Untidy homes cause more accidents than tidy ones.
So the answer is - BE PREPARED – find out the best solutions to make your surroundings as safe as possible.
For more information or to book an appointment email firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out these hidden hazards:
Playpens can be very dangerous places if piled high with toys. The fewer the better. Babies may be hurt by falling onto toys and toddlers will try to escape by climbing onto the toys to get out.
String on toys can often get tangled and could get tied around a child’s throat – be extra vigilant or better still avoid them altogether
Washing Machines and Tumble Dryers can be very dangerous placed if left open and children use them as hiding places. A £1 lock can keep them permanently shut to small hands
Over 5000 people including toddlers trip and injure themselves due to washing piled high and left on the floor – so don’t
Door hinges invite curious fingers, which can often get trapped and in many cases broken. Make sure doors are secured open or shut.
It takes only 1 metre (3 feet ) of electrical cord to endanger a toddlers – tie up all loose wiring or place within a safety cylinder
Most accidents happen in the living/dinning room – there are numerous dangers lurking. Padding should be secured around hard edges, move the stereo out of reach, fit a video lock, use socket inserts on electrical points, cover any glass panels with safety film, cover fire places and install a fire extinguisher/ have a fire blanket easily available.
Teething babies can and do regularly chew on wires. Cover them up or place them in a protective tube.
Just a tiny slither of glass from a broken photo frame can harm a baby. Place frames away from reach, along with heavy objects that might tumble and ornamental knick-knacks.
Free-standing bookshelves can easier topple – secure shelves to the wall
Fireplaces, as well as being a danger if lit – make sure you have a fixed-fire guard – can cause added danger if a child trips and hits his head on the tiles.
About 11,000 injuries are caused by toilet seats each year – have a toilet lock to stop inquisitive children from falling in
We don’t know why but toddlers love cotton buds – 9000 injuries a year – they can be poked in the eyes, or swallowed. Keep all other toiletries out of sight.
A baby can drown in 1 inch of water – never leave your babies or toddlers alone in the bath. Ensure your bath has a bath mat – not the little rubber stickers – children easily slip between them.
Avoid small foam toys – they can easily cause choking.
Toothpaste and mouthwash are dangerous if swallowed in large quantities – lock them away
Remove any toy box or chair from under a windowsill – an adventurous child can easily use it as a lunching pad to the outside world.
Cat flaps are treacherous – babies can easily get their head stuck in them.
And don’t forget the dangers in the garden, garage and outhouses where young children love to explore.
Remember to have adult supervision at all times