A house that is adult-friendly can have safety issues for a small child. So how can I child-proof my home without saying ‘no’ or ‘do not touch’ every five seconds? Here are some tips:
- Burns or scalds – Keep an eye on your child especially when they are near appliances that can emit heat or a flame including stoves, ovens, microwaves and heaters. Keep hot drinks away from young children and always check the water temperature before putting your child in the bath or shower.
- House fires – House fires can be caused by shouldering cigarettes, electrical faults, playing with matches or lighters, and lighted candles. Working fire alarms are an important home accessory as are fire blankets or fire extinguishers especially in the kitchen area and near heating devices like fire places.
- Water-safety – Water safety usually depends on adult supervision around pools, bath times, ponds and buckets full of water. Children under five need full adult attention when in and around water and we should never shun this responsibility to other children.
- Preventing falls at home – We can keep our children safe by observing the new motor skills they are learning and adjust the home environment accordingly. Leave a night-light on at night especially in the child’s room and corridors so that the child will avoid tripping when going to the toilet. Install guards around stairs and balconies and lock windows so that the child does not fall out. Supervise the younger kids when going up or down the stairs and make sure furniture in their rooms is sturdy and fixed so that it does not fall on them when opening doors and drawers.
- Poisoning – Poisoning is one of the most common injuries a child can experience at home. You can keep your child safe by installing a child-safety latch on the cupboard you store household detergents in. Moreover, keep medicines and chemicals in a high and locked cabinet.
Supervision and providing a home environment that is safe for your child is of utmost importance. However, we can also improve home safety by teaching our children about what is safe and what is not and encouraging them to speak up if they feel unsafe in and around the home.
Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness. She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on email@example.com