Kids are naturally imaginative. Add to that a potion of mischief, and what you get is a recipe for potential disasters in the home! Short of keeping a watchful eye on your kids 24 hours a day, parents need to be creative when ensuring their homes are safe for the young ones. Putting up baby gates, covering electrical outlets and padding sharp corners of furniture are basic measures… but what about other hidden dangers that could lurk in the seeming safe haven of your home?
Watch out for the TV
TV sets often take pride of place in the living room but what parents often don’t think about is how easily flat screen TVs can be tipped over. Technological advancements mean sleeker, lighter TV sets, but this should not come at the expense of safety. To avoid accidents, TVs should be anchored, mounted on a wall, or placed on a low sturdy base.
Reach for the remote
There is a perennial debate of of how much of TV watching can actually be harmful to a kid. However, the hazard lies beyond the TV set, and extends to the remote control as well. Children (and some adults as well..) are instincitively drawn to anything with buttons – making remotes a perfect target. If any of the buttons fall out, or if they manage to lay hands on the batteries inside remote controls, they might be tempted to put these into their mouths. Choking can happen and if batteries are being swallowed, they break down extremely quickly and can damage a child’s digestive system in record time. Don’t take any risks, put the remote out of reach of tiny hands.
Remember the everyday things
Try to break the habit of leaving little, seemingly innocuous everyday items, around the house… hair clips, jewellery, coins … they’re all potential choking hazards. Do a house sweep as regularly as possible to ensure such items are not left lying around.
Think like a toddler
Trunks, boxes, pails, and toy chests make perfect hiding places for children but they are potentially dangerous should your child climb inside. The safest thing to do is remove the lid or use a lid support to keep the trunk open. Also consider drilling ventilation holes into the trunk in case your child falls inside and becomes trapped - this will help to keep him/her from suffocating. Keep lids on pails, or bathroom doors, tightly fastened so there is no danger of a child clambering into a pail of water.
If in doubt, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is, if it can fit through a toilet roll tube -- then it can be swallowed by a toddler. If it can be knocked over, or if a little person can do something with it you can’t – then put it out of harm’s way. Even though close supervision is the most ideal, some additional thinking on your part will help you protect your little ones as best you can from home dangers, so that they can play in a safe environment.