Baby safety around the home

Caroline Cassidy

As soon as we have children we worry about their safety. Making your home baby proof requires attention to detail with sharp edges, trapped fingers in cupboards, trip hazards and plenty of other dangers throughout your house. It is your job to prevent accidents and teach responsibility as your children grow. These tips show how making a few simple changes could make your home a whole lot safer

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Remember some 3-4 year olds can open child 'proof' caps in seconds, so keep medicines in a locked or high cupboard too. Don't forget the painkillers in your handbag too. Detergent capsules and concentrated detergents may be very convenient but pose risks to young children. Don't leave them at ground level or under the sink; move them to a high cupboard or one with a lock.

Hair straighteners stay hot enough to burn even after eight minutes of being unplugged. So again, don't leave anywhere near the ground. Move to somewhere out of reach

Young children will climb on furniture so don't leave windows wide open. It's best to fit a window lock so it will only open a short distance. Use safety gates on stairs; don't take the risk of your little one taking a tumble.

Have a fire escape plan and make sure your kids and all the adults know what to do.
Check all fire safety equipment. Get a smoke alarm fitted on each floor of your home and test it regularly. Make sure fire extinguishers are full and adults and older children know how to use them? Have you got a torch in the house? Make sure you have plenty extra batteries.

Tie your blind cords around a hook to keep loops out of reach of children and move children's cots, beds away from blinds too. Always stay with your baby when they're in the bath. A child can drown in just a few inches of water.

Hot tap water can burn a toddler's skin in seconds so take a second to put the cold water in first and top up with hot. Test the water with your elbow to prevent your child getting burned. A hot drink can also burn a young child so don't carry your baby before you pick up your drink up.

Always cut your child's food up. Young children can choke on food that's too big.

Do a car seat safety check. Has it been properly installed? Refer to installation instructions and vehicle owner's manual first. They should never be placed in the front passenger side when there is an airbag. Rear-facing for infants less than one year old and your child should remain in a car seat until they are four years old.

Why not play the stop, drop & roll game with your kids. Teach them to stop, drop and roll should there be a fire and their clothes catch.

When it comes to the outside store tools, garden, lawn-equipment, and supplies in a locked closet or shed. Never use a power mower when young children are present. Make sure kids don't don't play on a treated lawn for at least 48 hours following a treatment with a fertilizer or pesticide.

Make a note of the types of trees and plant life around your home in case children ingest berries, leaves. If you have a swimming pool, install a fence that will separate the house from the pool area.