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Simple steps you can take to make your home and contents child-safe

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When children start crawling, it is a whole new phase of exploration and development for them. But it also means that they can reach a lot of new places and grab anything that’s within their reach.

This phase is absolutely invaluable for the development of your child’s brain. This is when children learn fine motor skills and test their limits. So while your child is exploring the whole world, it falls upon you to ensure that their exploration is safe and happy. Here are some ways that will ensure the safety of your child.

Supervision is the key

Whether your child is an infant or a toddler, they require constant supervision. At around six months old, children start moving around and grabbing at things. This is when a child’s mind is curious, wanting to get into places that are unexplored. It is important that you or another responsible adult is around to guide your child away from any dangerous places. It helps to create a creative space for your child where they can look at lots of new things and play safely in a lot of different ways. This way, they won’t be enticed to go into every dark nook and cranny of the house to satisfy their curiosity.

Securing the house

When we live with adults, we take several things for granted in terms of safety. A nail popping out of a wall or a creaky stair might not bother adults too much, but they can be extremely dangerous to a child. Securing your living space is one of the first things you need to do when raising a baby.

● Install safety guards around balconies, windows, and staircases to avoid falls

● Use sensor lights for slightly older kids to be able to navigate easily at night

● Install a high pool fence and a self-locking gate around the pool if you have one

● Use a child safety latch on toilet seats and cabinets at all times

● Make sure all electrical equipment and switches are in good condition. Get a licensed electrician to install safety switches to avoid electrocution

● Get power point covers and use them at all times

Put stickers on any clear glass at eye level to the children so that they don’t bump into it. Also, install shatterproof glasses around the house if there is old fragile glass

● Keep any medicines and chemicals locked up in cabinets or in a place where the child cannot reach them. This includes laundry detergent, essential oils and dishwashing liquid—store it all well out of reach

● Avoid using any tools in the vicinity of children. Keep them locked away when not in use

● Ensure that you have functional smoke alarms in your house. It is required by law for you to have at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your house

The dos and don’ts for child safety

We have discussed what you can do around the house to secure it, but accidents can occur even when you think everything is safe. In order to eliminate any chances of mishaps, ensure the following:

● Never leave a baby unsupervised on any raised surfaces such as a bed or a changing table. Babies tend to roll over and they can fall off

● Never leave a young child in the bath unsupervised, not even for a few minutes

● When drawing a bath, first fill it with cold water and then mix the hot water. Always ensure the temperature of the bathwater is safe by dipping your elbow or using a thermometer to get around 37 degrees Celsius

● Never let children play with lighters or matches. Keep any incense, candles or burning equipment away from the reach of the children

● Tie knots on any plastic bags and keep them away from children

● Don't let any loose ropes lie around, they pose a strangulation threat. This includes ties for venetian blinds, so make sure they are always tied away.

● If you have any sharp corners around the house, pad them with soft cloths or foam.

● Don’t use tablecloths or mats as kids tend to pull them and pull everything off. If you’ve got expensive vases or electronics on the table, make sure you have up to date contents insurance .

● Learn some first aid and CPR . Get proper training in case of an emergency.

Look at your home with fresh eyes

Take time to walk through your home and look at everything with the eyes of a child. Anything below your child’s outstretch hand’s height is accessible.

There are several ways to ensure child safety but the important thing to remember is that nothing can replace supervision. Kids under five years need constant supervision as they are always looking for new ways to explore and play. Ensure that there is at least one adult available to look after the child at all times. Kids move quickly and you can’t put a price on child safety.

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