Home Safety Tips for Young Children
- Keep medicines and chemicals well out of reach Ė Locked in a cupboard in the kitchen is one of the best places.
- Medicine and chemicals should be kept in their original containers so that they are not mistaken for something else.
- Always replace the cap on the bottles securely and try to choose bottles that have child resistant caps. However, care still needs to be taken as they are child resistant not child proof.
- Never refer to tablets as sweets as children may then mistakenly take other tables not realising the difference.
- Washing Powder, dishwasher tablets, perfume and aftershave are just a few of the everyday chemicals that can poison a child. Take care with all types of chemicals and store them out of sight where possible. Often these things are brightly coloured and attractively presented and will draw the attention of young children.
- It is better to store drugs and medicines in the kitchen rather than in the bathroom cabinet. This is because there are usually more people in and around the kitchen giving children less privacy and time on their own to explore and find the medication.
- Lock Alcohol away.
Burns & Scalds
- Donít hold a child while holding a hot drink as it can easily spill onto them and cause serious scalds.
- Run cold water into the bath first and check the water temperature with your elbow or wrist for a slow count of 5 to ensure that the water is not too high. Bath water should be comfortably warm rather than hot.
- Supervise children at all times.
- Keep hot items like kettle towards the back of the worktop so that they cannot be reached or knocked off.
- Use a fixed fire guard to keep children away from the fire and use a spark guard in front of an open fire too.
- Try to iron when children are not around and let it cool down in a safe place.
- Children hide if they are scared so it is a good idea to work out an escape plan if there was a fire.
- Keep lighters and matches well out of the reach of children.
Trips & FallsFalls from a Height
- Use a stair gate a both the top and bottom of the stairs. However, make sure that they are taken down once children are two years old as they are able to climb and could fall. Stair gates should also be fitted securely and regularly checked to see if they are secure.
- Fit window restrictor bars to allow the opening to be kept at a safe distance so a child cannot get through it.
- Keep baby bouncers on the floor and try to change babies on a mat on the floor so that if they wriggle around they cannot fall.
- Use a 5 point harness in highchairs so the children canít fall or slip out.
- Try to avoid having furniture that can be climbed up close to a window.
Falls on the same Level
- Try to arrange furniture to allow clear floor space.
- Remove lose carpets and rugs that can easily be tripped over.
- Tidy the floor of toys and other objects so that someone doesnít trip or slip on them.
- Remove or cushion furniture that has sharp edges or corners.
Suffocation & Choking
- Supervise mealtimes as food is one of the biggest causes of choking.
- Make sure that toys are appropriate for the age of the child as toys for older children contain small parts which younger children can choke on. Itís best to have separate toy boxes if possible and try to make older children aware that their toys are not suitable for younger children to play with.
- Blind and curtain cords should be kept short and out of reach as it is easy for a child to get them tangled around themselves.
- Ensure that plastic packaging is disposed of carefully and plastic bags are stored out of reach so that they cannot be accidentally placed over a young childís head or obstruct their breathing.
- Clothes with draw strings can be a hazard so they need to be kept short and not be slept in.
- It is best not to have babies Under 6 months sleeping in the same bed as an older child or adult as it is possible for the sleeping adult to smother and suffocate the baby without realising.
- Animals, especially cats, should be kept out of childrenís bedrooms.
- Be aware of small objects that present a choking hazard such as peanuts, coins small parts of toys and marbles. Make sure that they are kept out of reach.
- Make sure that a babyís mattress is a good fit for the cot as they can suffocate if their head falls into the gap. This can also happen if they are left unattended on sofas as their head may fall between the cushions.
It only takes as little as 3cm of water for a child to drown in and can happen in minutes.
- Always supervise babies and young children near water, whether in the bathroom or outside.
- Garden ponds should be fenced off or filled in. Fencing should be tall enough so as not to be easily climbed over and fencing should never substitute supervision.
- Paddling pools, buckets and other containers should always be emptied after use and put away so that rain water cannot fill them up again.