We often believe we have made our home toddler safe, but we tend to do this from an adult perspective. Toddlers are so inquisitive, and will always discover something new and interesting to explore.
No matter how hard we think about our home as being safe, there is always something we overlook. Unless we start crawling ourselves on our hands and knees, it is hard to consider everything, unless of course we can remember our childhood antics.
In spite of all the information available to parents, there are still some 320,000 accidents in the home that affect children under the age of 15.
This number represents accidents that led to a visit to the hospital, not including those that we managed to handle in the home. Most accidents are preventable through adult supervision, but some require a safety device (like a gate or hinge) or the complete removal of an unsafe toddler item.
There are many things both inside and outside of our homes (including our back yard or garage) that present a risk to our kids. There are some simple things we can do to alleviate any potential risk to them.
Ensuring the glass in your home meets safety standards is as simple as checking the relevant compulsory markings required of the manufacturers. Some of us live in older homes that were built before new laws were introduced, so it is important to check that glass that is accessible to children is, at least, 6.38mm in thickness.
This would indicate it is laminated safety glass. If there are any doubts, or you have difficulty in finding the safety marks, contact a local glazier or other professional that can help identify it for you.
Garages and Sheds
A home for many potential hazards that include machinery, chemicals and tools. It is vital that these types of things are kept out of harms reach. In the case of chemicals, pesticides, paints or sprays – keep these in a lockable chest or cabinet, with the key put somewhere safe away from prying eyes. If you have a lot of tools and machinery, it is advisable to keep them hanging on a high wall space out of reach or again, locked away so the little fingers can’t reach them.
The best solution is to keep the doors and access to the shed or garage locked at all times to prevent any unnecessary harm to our little ones.
Most of us have a pool of some description that comes out when the kids want to play outdoors in the summer heat. Adult supervision is essential when there are kids playing in water. We need to be conscious of their abilities to swim and understand the risks associated with inflatable toys. Most inflatable toys come with a warning printed on them that they are not life preservers, this is very true in all cases.
It is strongly recommended that you teach your kids the risks of jumping or diving into a pool, and encourage them to use pool ladders to gain access. One of the other important safety guidelines is to have a pool safety fence with a specially adapted locking gate. These prevent a small child from opening it. Don’t forget, if the kids are outside it is important to track their movements. Do not leave them unsupervised, because this is the time when accidents can and will happen.
If you have outdoor patio furniture, be sure to protect them from excessive exposure to the sun. Furniture has the ability to absorb heat, and unless properly protected or covered, it can cause burns or discomfort to young skin. When choosing your outdoor furniture be sure to consider accessories to protect it from the heat and UV rays, to avoid any unpleasant burns to your kids.
For indoor furniture, be aware of any sharp corners at eye or head level. These can include tables, desks, hall tables and more. As many toddlers love to climb, also consider securing or fixing tall bookcases and shelving units to the wall. These have been known to come crashing down from over eager younger explorers!
Please consult with a professional for detailed advice and guidance on how to make your home toddler proof, it is better to be safe than sorry.