In the Home

Babyproof your home

Mothers have so much to think about that often the simplest of things can be overlooked. Here is some advice and guidelines to ensure your home is a safe and secure environment for your little ones.

What are the four most sought-after safety products for the home?

ANSWER:

1. Stair gates - naturally! There are many different styles suited for different needs – did you know that you should never have a stair gate with a lower bar, fitted at the top of the stairs, or did you know that you can stair-proof your home by day and then these same stair gates can be retracted away in the evenings. Some gate can be very intrusive so choose the one that suits your living! Before purchasing a stair gate think carefully about where it will be fixed and ensure you buy the one best suited to that need and your lifestyle.

2. Multi-purpose locks of all kinds – they ensure anything dangerous is out of a child’s reach. We all know that domestic cleaning equipment and medicines should be locked away, but what about glass objects and Daddy’s tools. Babies have even been known to crawl into washing machines – if you think this is a risk in your home – there is a lock to help prevent this. Boys are particularly prone to lifting loo seats and playing or dropping items into the bowl – again toilet locks are a popular safety items. If you think you have items that need to be tucked away out of reach then there will be a lock to help!

3. Anti finger trapping devices - nearly 90 children each day go to A&E because they have had fingers damaged in doors that have been slammed shut accidentally (usually by a sibling or the wind). It is so easy to stop doors from shutting fully – make sure doors are either secured open or shut - there are numerous styles of products – some that clip onto the door frame, others that fit under the door and there are also door shields that fit down the hinge side of the door. Each prevents little fingers from being squeezed or broken. Nearly all nursery schools have these fitted now but they are becoming more popular in the home too and rarely get noticed as they sit within the hinged area of the doorframe.

4. Radiator Covers – children rarely respond as quickly to pain as adults meaning that if they touch a hot radiator unexpected they cannot move their hands away quick enough before harming themselves. Small children can get blisters and can be burnt from the heat of a radiator - a cover helps avoid this from happening..

QUESTION:

Are safety precautions different when you have a toddler in the house alongside your baby?

ANSWER: Yes, they most certainly are – a toddler who is finding his/her independence can often feel jealous and irritated by a sibling– never leave a baby alone with a toddler as they can react quite spontaneously and may hurt your baby unintentionally. Make sure both get some of your attention, set clear boundaries, teach them to share and show kindness to each other. Make sure the toys of toddlers are put away and not left for your baby to pick up and place in their mouths. Remember small parts can be highly dangerous to babies. Encourage your toddler to put their toys away – many accidents occur when toys are left on the stairs or scattered across a room.

QUESTION:

Have you given enough thought to fire safety; smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, escape ladders and electric / open fire places?

ANSWER:

500 people die in household fires every year. If a fire occurs in your home, your chances of survival will depend on how quickly and safely you are able to get out. You should work out a plan and talk to your children at a level suitable to their age. Every home should have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm – carbon monoxide cannot be detected by smell and is the biggest cause of household poisoning deaths in the UK.

There are many varieties of smoke detectors – fitted and battery operated stand alone ones – there is no excuse not to have a smoke alarm on each floor of your home. Carbon monoxide alarms are best close to your boiler. Most people die from the fumes and smoke of a fire – in order to escape fast, especially if you have bedrooms on higher floors, invest in escape ladders that can be thrown out of a window. Open fireplaces should have secure fireguard surrounds and never leave your child unattended by an open fire. Teach your children about the dangers of fire.

For more expert information on babyproofing and safety in the home visit:

 http://www.greatvine.com/clare-scott-dryden

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