Baby and child proofing your home is an important task because it's where most baby and kid-related accidents will occur as s/he spends most of the early years in the home, learning and playing.
Before your baby gets mobile, make sure that you do a safety check on every room in your house and garden. Once your child is older, you need to maintain a safe home by doing regular safety checks.
A good safety tip is to get down to the height of your child and view your home from their perspective to see where the dangers might be.
Use our checklist to make sure your home is safe for your children:
- Make sure that you know what to do in an emergency, do a first aid course and have first aid kits in the house and car.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone at all times.
- Include your home phone number and address on your emergency list, so that if someone else has to call for help, they can direct emergency services to your home.
- Always keep poisons out of reach of your child by storing them in a lockable, child-proof cupboard.
- Keep matches, lighters, scissors and candles in a safe place out of the reach of your child.
- Never leave a young child alone in the house – even if she’s sleeping and even if it’s for five minutes. Children under 12 years shouldn’t be left in charge of younger children.
- Make sure that you have smoke alarms installed throughout the house, including the bedrooms. Replace the batteries once a year.
- Check that there is Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker which will cut the power supply to your house should there be an electrical fault.
- Get an electrician to check that your home’s wiring is safe – this is more important if you live in an old house.
- Cover all unused power points.
- Replace all glass doors, low windows and shower screens with safety glass.
- Make sure that there are non-slip surfaces on all floors that may get wet.
- Put corner protectors on all corners that are sharp or at head height.
- Ensure that all windows and external doors are suitably barred or fixed to remove the possibility of your child falling out.
Common Sense Advice. Share your experiences, tips and advice on the Kidspot Forum.
Last revised: Thursday, 19 June 2008
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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