Keeping Children Safe at Home
As we know, young children are naturally curious and are unable to assess danger. Parents must therefore be constantly vigilant.
As soon as a toddler begins to pick things up and move around, their whole environment can become a minefield. Their attention is captured by almost anything, large or small. They are fascinated by light and bright colours, turning wires and cords into trails that need to be followed.
The trick? Get down to the child's level to get an overview of what they see, what they can grab, and what could easily tempt them. This will allow you to reorganize certain spaces, store dangerous products or fragile items away, secure electrical outlets, etc.
As children grow, so do the risks and safety issues. For example,
electrical outlets do not pose a danger to infants, but become the number one thing
to watch out for as young explorers start moving around on their own. A regular
assessment of potential risks is therefore essential.
Here are some examples of risky situations and prevention tips. Teaching children about dangers and providing them with simple instructions is recommended so that when your child is in another environment, they do not want to put their finger in the first electrical socket they see.
Increased safety at bath time, in the wading pool or at the swimming
pool. It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown, even in a bathtub with
very little water. Toddler seats and infant rings are not effective and give
parents a false sense of security. Never leave a child alone in the bathtub, wading
pool or swimming pool. Extreme vigilance and a constant presence are essential in
any body of water.
Medications and poisonous products: out of sight and out of reach!
- Place these products out of sight in an inaccessible place equipped with a safety latch.
- Keep the original containers, never put them into food containers.
- Keep glasses and bottles of alcohol away.
- When buying medication, opt for those that have safety caps.
- Never leave medication (even medication for babies) on the changing table or near the bed.
- When visiting a new place, do a quick tour of the setting in order to detect possible sources of danger for the toddler.
- Check the toxicity of plants in the toddler's environment (both indoors and outdoors) and keep any plants out of their reach.
- Inspect the grass area often to prevent the child from ingesting a lawn fungus. This can cause significant damage to the liver and digestive system.
Regardless of the location or the situation, dangers are real. Children are in discovery mode the moment they open their eyes. Constant vigilance is what’s needed when it comes to toddlers’ safety. Here are some other examples of potential dangers:
- The fireplace. To prevent burns, falling on a glass door or any other accidents, it’s important to secure the area by installing a barrier around the fireplace or blocking the entrance to the room where the fireplace is located.
- Hanging blind cords are a potential strangulation hazard. They should be secured and kept far out of reach.
- For the baby’s crib, ensure it is compliant with Canadian standards.
- Bunk beds are not recommended for children under six.
The list is long. A visit to the “Is Your Child Safe?” page on the canada.ca website leads to a publication that is invaluable in maximizing your home’s safety.