Home can be a dangerous place and thousands of children a year
are injured or even killed in or around their homes. As parents you have to strike a
balance between being overprotective and being careful. The following checklists will help
you prevent unnecessary injury or suffering around your own house.
In general, buy only furniture and equipment that conforms to a
recognized standard of safety. It is not difficult to get such furniture today
Safety at home means always keeping one
step ahead of your adventurous child.
In the car
- If carrying a carry-cot in the car, always secure it with properly anchored straps.
- If using a car seat, ensure it is properly bolted to the car.
- Never leave things lying on the back shelf that might fall on to a child in a carry cot.
- Never leave a child in a closed car especially in the summer-it can get very hot.
- Make sure that children don`t sit in the front seat of the car unless they are old
enough to wear an adult seat belt safely.
- Ask for specially made child seat belts for the back seats.
- Always lock your car so that children can`t get in and release the handbrake.
- Check that a child isn`t hidden behind your car when reversing.
On the road
- Teach your children to respect road safety from an early age.
- Show your child how to use the various types of pedestrian crossings and help him
understand traffic lights.
- If he has a bicycle, ensure that it is kept in a safe condition and that the brakes are
In the kitchen
- Be careful what you keep in cupboards within easy reach of children.
- Turn handles of saucepans sideways, away from the edges of work surfaces or the stove.
- Keep poisons, cleaning fluids and disinfectants high up, out of reach and preferably
- Don`t prise open cans with your fingers.
- Never leave oil heating in a vessel or the cooker unattended.
- Wipe up spills at once.
- Avoid highly polished floors.
- Keep sharp things in drawers.
- Make sure plugs and wiring on domestic appliances is safe.
- Sockets at lower levels are not uncovered, inviting children to put fingers in.
- Don't overload sockets.
- Don't leave teapots or any containers of hot fluid
near the edge of a table- they can be easily pulled off.
- Sweep up broken glass or china at once.
- Never put water on a fat fire- put a lid on the vessel.
- Keep matches out of reach.
- Teach children to respect kitchen machinery.
- Have a first aid kit handy.
- Never leave children alone in the kitchen when things are cooking.
In the bathroom
- Keep all drugs and medicines well out of children`s reach, preferably in a cupboard that
- Flush all old medicines and those without labels down the lavatory.
- Have your water heater serviced annually.
- Never block ventilation holes.
- Never leave children alone in the bath.
- Put in cold water first when mixing hot water for the bath.
- Don`t use portable, mains-operated electric appliances in the bathroom.
- Place an electric heater high up on the wall or ceiling, but not over the bath area
- Have most of the electric switches out side or have a
pull chord for the light switch. We all very easily operate switches with wet fingers;
this could be fatal.
- Have no power outlets.
- Keep razors well out of children's reach.
- Have non-slip flooring.
- Have a bathroom mat with non-slip backing.
If you have a garage/ garden
- Make sure that your garden gate has a safe fastening.
- Keep garden tools hanging safely on walls.
- Keep insecticides and other chemicals high up and out of reach. Never use
domestic containers (e.g. lemonade bottles) for insecticides.
- Check your child`s bike for safety at least twice a year.
- Keep a child at a safe distance when sanding, grinding or spraying. In one third of
do-it-yourself accidents, it is the watching child who is hurt.
- Never run an engine in a closed garage.
- Make sure ladders have a firm footing.
- Don`t be over-protective to older children.
- Supervise small children on swings all the time.
- Keep ponds fenced or covered if you have young children.
- Keep water butts safely covered.
- Keep the pram covered with a cat net if you leave your baby in it in the garden.
- Teach children to recognize poisonous trees and shrubs
- Tech children to respect swimming pools.
- Put out fires before going to bed.
- Never throw inflammable liquids or aerosol cans on to fires.
- Dont leave garden tools lying around.
- Keep septic tanks properly covered.
- Check deckchairs and garden furniture for safety.
In the living room
- Keep pins, needles and scissors away from young children.
- Make sure bookshelves cant be pulled over.
- Put electric flexes where people wont trip over them, but don`t put them under
- Replace flexes immediately if they are at all chafed or worn.
- Unplug the television when going to bed or leaving the house.
- Never take the back off the television or obstruct the ventilation slots.
- Keep all plastic bags away from the children.
- Never leave windows open without a safety catch where a child plays.
- Don`t leave small objects lying around with small children about- they'll swallow them
or put them in their ears or noses.
- Beware of catching fingers under windows and in doors.
- Examine toys regularly to see that no loose buttons, eyes etc. are likely to come off
and be swallowed and that there are no sharp edges that could cut the child.
In bedroom, hall, stairs and
passages (certain points may seem unnecessary for people in metros living in flats, but
are meant for people with row houses or bungalows. It is recommended that ALL mothers go
through them as when going for holidays, they are most likely to stay in houses having
stairs etc and these points may be useful)
- Fit safety catches to all windows above ground level.
- Close medicine containers and return to medicine cupboard at once after use.
- Don`t smoke in bed.
- If having cot bars for safety, check that bars are close enough together so that your
baby can`t trap his head between them.
- Loose mats should have non-slip backing strips.
- Use safety gates on the stairs with very young children about.
- Make sure that the stairs are well lit.
- If stair is carpeted, ensure it is fixed securely.
- Don`t store rubbish or anything inflammable under the stairs.
- Never leave things lying on the stairs.
- Never meddle with gas or electricity installations. Call in an expert.
- Repair holes and worn patches in carpets so feet don`t scratch.
Accident prevention in childhood
|Age and cause of
||Use well fixed car seat
until child is 3 years old; then use seat belts
||Be sure crib meets consumer
protection specification; refrain from using pillow in the crib
||Install smoke detector
||Use childproof barriers for
stairs and doors; have screens and locks on windows
|Foreign body ingestions
||Check toys for small
removable parts and discard; keep floors clear from coins buttons, nails, tacks, etc.
||Insert plastic covers into
||Remember that paint on
walls and ceilings and yard dirt may contain lead
|Crib injuries (from
||Ascertain that height from
the mattress to the top of the crib rail is 21 inches or more
||Keep hot beverages away
from table edge; use rear burners of stove whenever possible; keep matches out of reach
||Keep all medicines,
cleaners and chemicals out of reach in a locked cabinet; have ipecac and the telephone
number of the poison control center on hand at home.
|But suitable toys
two wheelers, skateboards, rollerskates and even some tricycles cannot be controlled by a
typical toddler; supervise play near streets or have the child play in a fenced-in area.
||Begin fire hazard
education, especially fire escape route and "drop and roll"
||Maintain adult supervision
in contact sports; buy appropriate protective equipment for contact sports.