Tripping while running, bumping into walls, and getting bruises are inescapable parts of childhood. But, a light injury is only one step away from a more dangerous one. That is why parents need to know some simple rules to make their home safe for children who love to run, play, and basically climb into everything in your house.
Here are some basic rules you can follow to make your home safer for children. These tips will come handy especially if you’re expecting child, or if your child is starting to move actively in your house.
- If you have a baby, choose a crib with bars no more than 6 cm apart. If the space between the bars is too wide, your baby could slip through and strangle between the bars.
- The mattress should fit snugly against the sides of the crib. An infant can suffocate if its head or body becomes wedged between the mattress and the sides of the crib. As quick measurement, no more than 2 fingers should fit between the mattress and the side of the crib. If the mattress is too small, place rolled towels between the mattress and the crib.
- A baby should sleep on their back.
- Quilted blankets with lace can block the baby’s respiratory tract during sleep. A sleeping baby also should be free from scarves, clothes, hats with ties, bibs, pacifiers, or toys with strings.
- When your baby can push up, you should remove bumpers, pillows, and toys from the crib, including toys that are strung across the crib. Your baby can step on these things or use them to climb out of the crib and fall.
Injury and fall prevention
- If your house has staircases, install certified safety gates both at the top and the bottom of the stairs. However, this does not mean that you can leave your child unattended around stairs.
- If your child moves around the house in a baby walker, watch that they stay away from stairs, heating appliances, and hanging wires.
- Move chairs, cribs, beds, and other furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing into sills.
- Don’t keep loose rugs on the floor. Put specially designed pads under rugs to hold them securely to the floor’s surface.
- Clean up any spills around the home immediately.
- Store all household products out of children’s sight and reach, especially those that are stored at places eye-level with your kids.
- Don’t leave poisonous products unattended while in use. Many incidents happen when adults are distracted for a moment on the phone or at the door.
- Keep cleaning products in their original containers. Never put a potentially poisonous product in something other than its original container (such as mineral water bottle) where it could be mistaken for something else.
- Make sure that all medications, including vitamins and adult medicines, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children.
- Include in your cell phone the number of the nearest clinic or doctor to get advice in the event of poisoning or other dangerous situations.
- Hide matches and lighters from your children. Don’t keep lighters and other fire sources that look like toys in the house.
- Watch irons and hair dryers, unplug them after use, and put them in a safe place.
- Cover the unoccupied electric sockets at your home with duct tape.
- Keep hot food out of your children. Don’t hold your child while cooking.
- Install a smoke alarm at home, as it helps to reduce the risk of death in emergencies by half.