It’s Family Safety Week and it’s making us look around our homes and see potential danger lurking everywhere.
So instead of having a panic attack we’ve set our kids the fun (and very useful) five minute activity of creating family safety posters to remind everyone how to keep safe. That way, if they hurt themselves, they’ve only got themselves to blame. Ha ha ha, just kidding. What I meant to say is it’s a really useful way of bringing everyone together to talk about how to avoid accidents.
We’ve also compiled this handy guide to small person-proofing our homes.
1 KITCHEN: Those brightly coloured, squidgy laundry capsules are really appealing to kids, and they can need medical attention if they swallow the liquid or get it in their eyes. It’s best to store them – and all medicines, knives and cleaning products – out of sight, out of reach, and preferably locked away. We love these locks because you can buy 10 for £15.99.
2 KITCHEN: It would be great to keep the kids out of the kitchen while cooking, but we’re only human. So the best advice is to use the back rings of cookers and turn pan handles away so the pans can’t be knocked off.
3 GARDEN: We hover over our children in the bath, but what about the paddling pool? Young children can drown in only a few centimetres of water, so never leave them unattended. If you have a pond, covering the surface with strong netting will mean your small people can run around safely.
4 GARDEN: As soon as the sun shines, we fire up the barbecue. But make sure you stay close by to prevent children knocking into it (it’s also a good way to make sure your sausages don’t burn).
5 PLAYTIME: We’re constantly putting stuff on the stairs to take up with us later but in doing so we’re creating a dangerous obstacle course. Falls are the number one cause of A&E trips for under-5s, so clear them and the floor of clutter.
6 PLAYTIME: Flatscreen TVs have fallen onto and seriously hurt a number of children according to figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. If you can’t secure yours to the wall, it’s best not to leave small children with them unattended. Or block access to them with a safety fence or similar (we will be doing this. CBeebies and Milkshake are too important in all of our lives).
7 PLAYTIME: Little fingers have been badly crushed in doors (ouch!) You can buy door jammers to stop them slamming – but a towel over the top of the door works, too.
8 BATHROOM: Children are more at risk of scalding themselves in hot water. To prevent this, run the bath without them in it. Put cold water in first, then hot. And mix the water well to prevent hot spots.
9 IF SOMEONE IS HURT: No matter how hard you prepare, accidents do happen. It’s a good idea to teach children how to make an emergency phone call (only to be performed in an emergency of course!) Have a conversation about what to do, so if you’re hurt they can get help.
10 IF YOU NEED TO GET OUT: Do you, your partner and your children know what to do if there is a fire or a reason to get out of your home quickly? If you plan your escape route and have a plan that everyone knows, you’ll be able to react quickly if the unthinkable does happen.
What your small person just learnt:
The thing we’re exploring here is LIFE SKILLS – having an awareness of safety and wanting to look after the people we love (or the pets. Our lot were mostly concerned about saving the dog. Who puts dinner on the table, hmmm?)