Why is child-proofing your home one of the most valuable actions you can take in helping to keep your child safe at home?
- It's all about reducing the risk of injury to your child - did you know that most injuries in the 0-5 year age group happen in the home?
- It's about making your home and garden as child-safe as possible.
- It's about spotting potential dangers and then taking action to sort them.
- Did you know that 9 out of every 10 injuries can be prevented by thinking "safety" and acting "safely"? Childproofing your home allows you to do this, and so make your home safer for your child.
How to make your home "child-safer", both inside and out:
- Get down on your hands and knees (to your child's height) and go through your home - inside and outside.
- Yes, you may feel a little foolish! However, as you move around the home you will see every area from your child's height.
- It is amazing to view the home and surroundings from this level - you will see, very plainly at times, how inviting many dangerous items and areas look.
- Inside your home - go from room to room - remember to include the halls, stairs and landing.
- Outside your home - front and back - include driveway, gardens, avenue, shed and garage.
- Ask yourself the question in every room/area:
- Is there anything in this space that could be a danger to a child? Our child safety checklist will be useful in carrying out this activity.
- Once you spot the danger areas and items, you can take action to fix them.
- If your child is minded in another person's house, regardless of how rarely, it is important that house is made child-safer too. So pass on this valuable information to the carer/guardian.
- Adult supervision of young children is absolutely vital - there is no substitute for it.
- Be aware of your child's developmental stage and set appropriate limits to the areas your child can access and the materials he/she can use.
- Remember that although child-proof or child-resistant containers may be more difficult for children to open, there is no guarantee that they will not be able to, so store all dangerous substances, in their original child-resistant containers, out of sight and reach of children.
- Consistent and correct use of safety equipment such as stairgates, cupboard locks, spark and fire guards etc is important.
- Remember to keep car keys and house keys out of sight and reach of children - it is not unheard of for children to let themselves out the house, or into a car, without anyone noticing.
- Download our child safety wallchart.
- Educate your child about safety, and lead by example, but remember that young children are not capable of being responsible for their own safety - that is the adult's job!
Does "child proofing" you home work?
- Yes it does - it allows you to spot dangers inside and outside your home.
- Once you have spotted the danger then you can look at the best way of removing it.
- But always remember - watch your child at all times as children do not understand danger - constant and responsible supervision is necessary.
Most unintentional injuries (often called accidents) can be prevented:
Remember the key message where child safety is concerned -
Watch your child at all times, as children do not understand danger
Image: 3D man crawling © Martin Konz from dreamstime.com