About 2−1/2 million children are injured or killed by
hazards in the home each year. The good news is that
many of these incidents can be prevented.
What are the biggest risks in the home?
The arrival of a baby means you need to look at your home in a whole new light. Babies and young children are naturally curious and you will need to assess your home for lurking dangers.
More than one million children are taken to hospital after being involved in an accident in the home every year. Those most at risk from a home accident are children under five years old.
Drowning and suffocation are the main causes of fatal accidents for children aged under four, while falls account for most non-fatal accidents. Fire also poses a significant risk to children under the age of 11.
Don't wait until disaster strikes before you think about safety. With careful planning and a little equipment, you'll be prepared for when your baby is ready to explore.
There are hundreds of childproofing gadgets on the market, but the most important safety device is always going to be your supervision. No matter how well-equipped you are, you still need to be alert to possible dangers.
If the phone rings, or doorbell goes, take your baby with you if you have doubts about her safety while she is out of your sight.
How can I help prevent falls?
Falls are the most common causes of accidents in the home, accounting for 44 per cent of all children's accidents. Once your baby starts crawling, you will need to take extra precautions to keep your mobile baby safe.
Never leave things lying on the stairs that could cause someone to trip up. Stairs should always be well-lit and carefully maintained. Remove or repair any damaged or worn carpet. Make sure balustrades are strong and do not have any footholds for climbing.
Put non-slip pads under rugs and mats that don't already have non-slip backs.
Attach cushioned corner-and-edge protectors to coffee tables and desks. They may not prevent a fall but they can help lessen an injury.
How can I make windows and patio doors safe?
Place colourful stickers on large areas of glass, such as sliding glass doors, to remind your child that they are there.
Always open sash windows from the top and fit them with locks to prevent your child from opening them from the bottom.
Fix low windows so that they don't open more than 12.5cm.
Keep furniture, and other items your child may be tempted to climb on, away from windows.
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