Toddlers and Safety in the Home
As your child grows and moves around more, they naturally begin to explore their surrounding areas. Whether this is in the home, the garden or a childcare centre, it is up to us as parents, guardians and caregivers to ensure our little ones can be as safe as possible.
Little hands like to grab and little toddlers are reaching new heights when it comes to our shelves and cupboards, so let’s ensure there are always safe areas where we can encourage their curiosity, and also areas that are secure or out of reach for the things that need to stay that way.
With consistent teaching about what is safe and what is not, along with proper supervision and home safety measures, many domestic accidents involving young children can be easily avoided.
Falls are a very common cause for injuries in the home and here are some of the ways in which we can prevent them:
- Nightlights in landings and hallways can prevent trip-ups on the way to the bathroom after dark
- Lock windows or use window guards to ensure safety, especially on upper floors
- Use safety guards for stairs, balconies and no-go areas. Not a substitute for supervision though
- Remove obvious trip hazards like curled up rugs and other obstacles.
- Insulation lagging and foam blocks can make good temporary covers for glass table corners and other risky places that children can fall on
Fires, burns and scalds
Remember how delicate a child’s skin is compared to ours. Even hot drinks with added milk can be hot enough to seriously scold. Children are also much more likely to be overcome by smoke inhalation.
- Keep hot drinks and pans well out of your child’s reach
- Follow safety tips when running baths and ensure the water is the correct temperature (and depth)
- Ensure your home is fitted with smoke alarms, it’s the law and it saves lives (remember they need maintenance, regular checks and battery changes)
- Do not leave lighters or matches anywhere within the reach of a child
- Cookers, heaters, wood burners, fires, irons, and hair straighteners are dangerous things. Teach your children this, and supervise children at all times when these devices are in use, or have recently been in use, nearby.
Always supervise your child when there is possible access to any of the following:
- Pools (even paddling pools)
- The ocean, rivers, streams, lakes and creeks
- Ponds, water butts or other bodies of water around the garden
- Baths and baby baths
- Swimming pools should be fitted with gates that meet the national standard
Poisoning, strangulation, suffocation
Common household chemicals, medicines and furnishings can contribute to all of these risks.
- Store cleaning products and medicines locked in a high cabinet
- Install safety latches on any cupboards where this is not possible
- Remember plastic bags are a hazard, store them as above
- Keep piles of toys, blankets and laundry out of cots and cribs
- Blind cords must always be wrapped on a cleat 1.6m above floor level with no hanging cord
There are many other factors to include depending on your individual house and garden design and the products you use around your home, but common sense is an unrivalled skill when it comes to preventing domestic accidents. Be sure to have emergency numbers to hand though, just in case.
At Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning and Childcare in NSW, you can rest assured that our health and safety procedures are second to none. Our educators are trained in accident response and our centres are designed and laid out with the sole purpose of prioritising the safety and well-being of our little learners.