For kids, houses aren’t just a place to eat and sleep – they’re magical adventure spaces just waiting to be explored. While playing at home is a great way for children to learn, some things could seriously hurt, or even kill them. Getting down on our knees so we can see things from a child’s height is a great way to spot dangers we might otherwise miss. Here’s a list of other things you might not have thought of:
- Kids love running around, and in winter especially they are liable to get a touch of cabin fever! Keep your floors clear from obstacles, especially the stairs, so that your kids (or you) don’t trip over. For under-5s falls are by far the biggest accidental cause of A&E attendance and hospital admission, so making little changes could make a big difference. Rugs should be taped down to prevent them from slipping, trailing cables should be tucked away, and wet floors can be super slippy. Running in socks on a wooden floor can lead to a nasty fall!
"If she has her slippers on it tends to stop her slipping. I'd rather bare feet than socks.”
Carly, mum of two.
- While playing alongside your child is always the best way to keep them safe, it’s impossible to watch them every second of every day. A play pen can be a useful safe space for the times that your back is turned.
- Make sure any medications, alcohol, cleaning products and any other chemicals are kept high up and out of reach – or even better, in a locked cupboard.
- Little ones love to climb – make sure all heavy furniture such as bookcases and fireplaces are secured to the wall. Be extra aware of heavy flat-screen TVs too, as a number of children have been seriously hurt, or even killed, when they’ve pulled them down on top of themselves. Also remember that babies love to roll – never leave them alone on a high surface like a chair, sofa, or kitchen counter. Parents can get caught out thinking that their baby hasn’t yet mastered the art, but there’s always a first time!
- Little fingers can be badly crushed in doors. You can use a door jammer to prevent them slamming shut – although an old towel thrown over the top of the door will work just as well.
- Make sure your home is free from serious dangers that could hurt them while your back is turned. Fires should be guarded, hot drinks should be kept well out of reach and blind cords should be tied up and out of reach.
- Put knives and other sharp objects away after use, and store them out of sight and reach.
- Electric socket covers aren’t necessary because modern UK sockets have in-built safety features. However, it’s always a good idea to put appliances out of reach of little fingers so they can’t plug them in.
- Remember, 1-2 year olds are naturally very inquisitive - they like to taste everything! Be extra careful around things they can choke on, or around things that might make them sick, such as medicine, broken glass or dog poo.