Young children are naturally curious, and they seem to possess an inbuilt desire to learn all about the world in a tactile way. This means that children want to touch things to understand them, and while this is normal, it can be potentially dangerous. All parents want to protect their children from physical harm, but it’s easy to forget that the home presents its own selection of potential hazards. Supervise your child whenever possible to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
Burns and Scalds
According to Netmums, over 500 children under five are seen in Accident & Emergency departments every week with scalds and burns suffered in the home. Protect your child by keeping hot items out of their reach, including things like hair straighteners and hot drinks. Young children do not have a fully developed sense of spatial awareness and are more likely to bump into tables or knock over items that could contain hot contents. When you’re cooking, keep children away from oven doors and use the back rings on the cooker if possible. When it’s bath time, keep the hot water topped up with cold, and allow your child to test it with their hands before they get in. Matches and lighters should never be left within the reach of a child, avoid using candles and install proper fireguards for wood, gas or electric fires.
Plastic covers for plug sockets are cheap to buy and will protect curious hands from electric shocks. It’s also worth investing in appliances with curled electrical cord, so that young children can’t grab on to them and potentially pull appliances off countertops. This can be particularly dangerous if the item is hot, like a kettle. If you’re concerned about electrical safety, contact a firm that specialises in the testing of household appliances, like PAT Testers. Make sure all your electrical sockets have been recently checked and conform to British safety standards.
Medicines, painkillers and household cleaning fluids are all potentially hazardous when young children are around. It’s very common for children to swallow objects and substances they find, so remove the temptation by keeping these items out of sight and reach. A locked cupboard is ideal because although child resistant tops on bottles of chemicals can make them more difficult to open, they aren’t guaranteed to stop a curious child.