Countless people dream of the day they can welcome their own children into the world, enjoying the miracle of new life and watching their little ones grow and develop. Having children is certainly a magical experience, but it brings a whole host of new responsibilities along with it, and it’s every parent’s job to ensure that their sons and daughters stay safe.
A big part of protecting your children is understanding the many risks they face. You might not realize it at first, but there are probably all kinds of safety hazards for children all around your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom, and so on. These hazards may seem innocuous at first, like a simple power outlet or trash can, but the simplest of items can become deadly when innocent kids are around.
This is why it’s so important for parents and guardians to do all they can to make their homes safe for their children. It’s impossible to make your home 100% risk-free, and there are always going to be dangers, both inside and outside the home, that could pose risks to little ones, but here are some top tips to reduce the risks of nasty accidents and keep your kids safe!
Install a Stair Gate
Stairs are one of the most dangerous areas of any home, and this applies to both children and adults. Plenty of people of all ages fall down the stairs each and every year, suffering all kinds of injuries from broken bones and fractures to traumatic brain injuries too. Children, who tend to fall, are at greater risk of concussions than adults and can be seriously harmed by even a small fall. To reduce the risk, install stair gates at the top and bottom of your stairs.
Reduce Drowning Risk
Drowning is actually one of the leading causes of death in young children, and you might be surprised to hear some of the harrowing stories involving little ones accidentally drowning around the home. Baths and pools may seem like the obvious concerns, and certainly need to be protected, but even an exposed bucket of water can be a serious drowning hazard if an unsupervised toddler comes along and starts playing around with it. Keep buckets empty and install pool alarms to reduce the risk.
Most rooms have windows, and every single one of those windows needs to be regarded as a potential risk to your child’s life. Children can be so curious, always eager to explore the home and peek out of windows, and if one of those windows is open just a small amount, it’s easy for a child to accidentally fall through. Make sure windows are locked and closely supervise children in rooms with any open windows.
There are countless potential choking hazards around the home for little ones, and it’s vital for parents to keep any small objects well out of their child’s reach. This goes for colorful items too that could be easily mistaken for candy, and even some toys can sometimes pose risks for younger children and need to be handled with care. Check the labels of all toys for recommended ages and keep little items in locked boxes and high shelves, far from little hands.
It’s highly unlikely that your little one will start a fire all on their own, but it’s not impossible. If matches, lighters, and flammable items are left around within the reach of a child, accidents can happen, and smoke inhalation is another very common cause of death and injury in little ones. To combat this, keep matches and lighters in locked drawers and install more smoke alarms around the house.
Most homes contain a whole range of deadly, poisonous chemicals. Things like bleach might be useful for cleaning the toilet, but they could kill your child if ingested, so, once again, it’s important to make sure that they’re stored securely, far away from any spaces curious toddlers might dare to go. If you’re in the habit of storing kitchen cleaners under the sink, you may want to add a lock to the cabinet door or move them somewhere else when kids enter the home.
Cords, Cables, and Outlets
One of the classic threats to children’s safety in the home is power outlets. Kids can be attracted to these strange shapes and holes in the wall, and if they investigate too closely, the risks of electrocution are high. Children may also be attracted to loose wires and cables that could cause all kinds of disasters. Make use of outlet covers and cable organizers to reduce the risks of any nasty accidents.
Stoppers on Drawers and Doors
Another useful tip for making your home safer and more child-friendly is to fix stoppers to drawers and doors. These little stoppers can be used everywhere, from kitchens to bedrooms and bathrooms, helping to prevent doors and drawers from slamming shut, trapping little fingers inside, and they really can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your kids.
First Aid Kit
Last but not least, we can’t underestimate the importance of keeping a well-stocked first aid kit at home. The chances are, even with all the precautions in the world, your children may suffer from the odd bruise and scrape now and then, and it helps to have some key items nearby to help them feel better. Bandages, band-aids, antiseptic creams, and other essential items all form part of a typical first aid kit and can prove highly useful when little accidents happen.
You can’t make every threat and risk to your little ones disappear, but you can take steps to reduce the chances of injuries and accidents occurring. A few minor alterations to your home and habits could help to save a child’s life, or at least prevent them from hurting themselves too severely in future, so it’s well worth taking some time to make the adjustments listed above when welcoming a child into your house.