It’s somewhat of a cliche but kids seem to grow up so fast… It feels like only yesterday that you were changing their diapers and reading them stories to make them fall asleep, and yet today you wonder if you caught a faint whiff of cigarettes on their clothes as they returned home from their friends 16th birthday party (which they swore to you would be chaperoned by someone’s very responsible older sibling). When they’re out and about in the world, you hope that you’ve raised them well enough to be thoughtful, responsible young people who make the right decisions. Yet when they’re very young, and never away from mom or dad for too long, you have to be constantly vigilant to protect them from hazards both outside, and in the home itself. First time parents can be amazed at just how many dangers there are in an average home for babies and young children. So what are some of the best ways to keep your kids safe at home?
See The World Through Their Eyes
Put yourself at toddler height. When you’re that small, there are so many tempting things for young fingers to explore- all within easy reach. Electrical sockets, cupboards under sinks with their exciting contents, so many exciting things for a baby to play with! If you bring yourself down to toddler level, you can get a better idea of all the things they might try to touch and taste, and of course, each home is different.
Remember The Windows
It’s particularly important if you live in an apartment or have a house with more than one floor, but you need to make sure that windows are secured. If you live in a hot climate, it can be torture to keep windows closed and locked at the height of summer, but they at least need to be rendered inaccessible with childproof screens. While it’s natural for children to fall down, it takes some years to truly understand the concept of gravity- so a young child might see a pretty bird out the window and attempt to reach out and say hello, which is a potentially fatal decision. Also- don’t make it any easier for children to reach windows: remove any climbable furniture that’s close to the window.
What About The Bathroom?
The bathroom is potentially the most dangerous room of any home, and so due diligence needs to be applied here. So many bathroom products, whether they’re perfume/cologne; or bath/shower gel; or just soap, are designed to be deliciously fragrant, and smell as through they’re edible. Just think of coconut body milk- doesn’t it smell like it would be perfect on top of chocolate ice cream? As adults, we know better, but children certainly don’t, and so need to be supervised in the bathroom at all times until they reach an appropriate age. It’s vital to educate your children that while certain things might smell nice, that doesn’t mean they’re suitable for consumption. Likewise, many things in the bathroom can hurt them and should be put up high until the child is old enough to know that moms’ incredibly hot hair straightener and dads’ safety razor aren’t toys- no matter how much fun they look.
About the author: Samantha Priest is an Australian freelance writer, currently publishing in the Health and Lifestyle area.