Nothing is more important to a parent than the safety of their child. While they can be surprisingly resilient, babies and small children are at great risk of accidents both inside and outside the home whether that’s road safety, fire safety or general home safety. Below, we offer you 8 tips to cover your bases and provide the safest environment for your children to thrive (without having to cover them in bubble wrap!)
1. 95% of all childhood burns and scalds happen at home (Child Accident Prevention Trust). Young children do not have an immediate reflex to pull away from something that is burning them which means accidents can be far more damaging than they would be for an adult. This means keeping young children that are mobile out of the kitchen while cooking is very important as is teaching your children to stay away from the oven. Keep your kettle pushed to the back of your counter top and always ensure your cup of tea or coffee is out of their reach!
2. Everyone loves a cuppa right? But did you know that hot drinks such as tea and coffee are the main cause of scalds for under fives? Just make sure that you keep your cuppa out of reach of your little ones.
3. When was the time you checked the smoke alarms in your house? Was it in the past week? Probably not. This is something you should aim to do on a weekly basis, along with creating a family fire escape plan. Check out The Burn Institute’s great template below.
4. Think you have all of the hazards in your house under control? One great tip is to get down and crawl around on your floor, that way you will see all of the potential hazards that your child could encounter. You home can be full of sharp corners and cupboards full of things little people shouldn’t get themselves into. Getting down on your hands and knees allows your to see it from their point of view. Adding corner guards to tables and locks to cupboards will prevent your child from harming themselves as they become more and more mobile.
5. Have you ever stopped to think about the electrical safety of your home? Things such as overloading a plug socket or frayed and damaged cords are a major cause of many house fires. Check out the great electrical safety checklist below that you can print out and go through with the kids. We would also suggest socket covers to keep wee fingers out of the sockets that are not in use.
6. Bike Safety: Children aged 10-15 years old are the age category most at risk when it comes to having an accident on their bike. To prevent serious damage, make sure they wear a helmet every time they get on their bike. We offer a variety of sizes and styles to suit even the pickiest teen! Remember children learning to ride may also benefit from elbow and knee pads to help protect them while they grasp balancing on the bike.
7. Car Seat Safety: Did you know that car seats aren’t universal? They are not a one size fits all and do not suit every car out there.. A recent survey reveals that 71% of car seats are not fitted properly. Before buying a car seat, make sure it is first appropriate for your car and secondly it is the correct seat for your child’s height, weight and age. In the UK, children must use a car seat until they are 10-12 years of age or 135cm tall (whichever comes first).
8. Sun Protection: We have been blessed with unusually consistent sunshine over the past few weeks and sometimes as parents we’re not always prepared for it. Sun safety at all times of the year is important and all babies under 6 months should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Using sun shades on your car windows and covers on your prams will help keep them cool and out of the harsh damaging UV rays. Children should always wear a sun hat, stay hydrated and keep topped up with sun cream. It is also especially vital to reapply suncream every few hours when in the sun, especially after swimming – even when the suncream claims to be waterproof.
Great free resources and printables for child safety
Here are some brilliant pieces of free content to help make your home a safe haven, as well as keeping your kids safe in the great outdoors:
Print out this checklist and get your children to go round the home to see if they can spot any electrical hazards. This can be played as a game while at the same time teaching them about electrical safety.
The Burn Institute have designed an online family fire escape plan template for you to create and print off. Make sure you have two different escape routes planned out and why not get a stopwatch to time the kids.
This online resource is perfect for educating teachers, pupils and parents on the dangers of road safety. It is filled with quizzes videos and great advice. Perfect for you to sit down and go through with the kids.
As mentioned above it is crucial that you purchase the correct car seat for your car , for your child’s height, weight and age. Need some help? Check out this buying checklist!