Keeping children safe is a priority for all parents and the event of a death or accident of a child is tragic and life shattering. Unfortunately, injuries or fatalities are all too common and it has been reported that over one million of children under the age of fifteen are killed or maimed by accidents that happen in the home. In some cases, these are unavoidable; however it is estimated that a most of these happen in the place that a child should be safest. A child’s home or garden is where he or she will spend the majority of their spare time, so it is not surprising that this is where most accidents happen. However, many of these accidents can be avoided and care givers should take as many steps possible to ensure that a child’s living environment is safe and risk free.
The kitchen and the bathroom:
These two rooms are grouped together because they both contain the potential for children to burn themselves. Hot water taps, ovens and stoves and boiling kettles are all potential hazards for this to occur, so it is important to take steps to minimise the risk. It is a good idea to install a temperature regulator, which will reduce the heat of the water that comes out of taps. It is difficult to physically prevent children from interacting with dangerous appliances, so it is wise to educate your child on the potential risks as early on as they will fully understand. Before that time, ensure that you supervise your children when the oven or kettle is in use.
It may come as no surprise that the stairs in a home often cause a significant of accidents among children. Young children in particular may find it difficult to negotiate a steep staircase and even a surefooted older child may stumble. For this reason, it is a good idea to install a child safety gate on your stairs, as these will prevent especially young children from attempting the stairs unsupervised. For older children, try to install a sense of caution and put boundaries in place that prevent running when on the stairs.
Gardens are another area that accidents frequently happen and it is extremely important that all play areas are assessed for potential risks and protected if possible. The NHS have noted that the majority of injuries and fatalities happen because of falls, so think about putting grass mats down under trees or play equipment. These help to reduce the impact of a fall and will also help to reduce the possibility of injury.
Ultimately, it is up to parents and caregivers to protect children in the home, so it is essential that all steps are taken to reduce the risk of injury and fatality. They are often small things that make a huge difference.