Parents try to give their children the best they can. They worry endlessly about their nutrition, growth, health, development, education and a million other things. One of the worries highest on parents’ minds is how to keep their children safe from harm.
This is a challenging task, as situations that could potentially lead to injuries occur inside and outside the home.
While you can’t do much about the dangers outside, you should make your home as safe as possible for you and your children. The good news is that almost all home injuries are preventable. Anticipate the dangers around the home and make the necessary changes. This is crucial to your child’s safety.
General Home Safety Tips
- Never leave your child alone or locked in a room.
- Store detergents, bleach, cleaning agents and other potentially harmful chemicals out of children’s reach or in a locked cabinet.
- Keep small pieces of jewellery, beads, cosmetics (eg perfumes, lipsticks), belts and ties well out of your child’s reach to prevent choking and strangulation.
- Keep paints, solvents and tools in their proper place after doing repairs or crafts around the house.
- Use plug socket covers to prevent your child from sticking her fingers into electrical outlets. Roll up and store extension cords when not in use.
- Keep the cords of electrical appliances as short as possible and don’t leave a dangling loop that a child could grab and pull.
- Give each child toys appropriate to her age. Toys for older children may contain small parts that a toddler can choke on.
- Remove and discard all packaging from a toy before giving it to your child.
- Teach children to keep their toys out of the way after playtime to avoid stepping, slipping or tripping on them.
Living Room Safety
- Stick colourful stickers at child’s eye level on glass doors to prevent children from accidentally running through them.
- Cover sharp furniture corners and edges with padded cloth or specially made corner guards from the hardware shop.
- Put a non-slip rubber mat under carpets to prevent your child from slipping on them.
- Don’t buy furniture with glass surfaces until children are older. If you have glass furniture, seal it with safety film so if it breaks, it won’t shatter.
- Keep bathroom doors closed at all times.
- Never leave your child alone in the bath or near any water such as in pails, wading pools or toilets for any length of time.
- Don’t leave electrical appliances such as hairdryers or shavers near the sink, bathtub or toilet.
* MISK is a childhood injury presentation programme for the public by the Malaysian Paediatric Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Malaysia, supported by a grant from Johnson & Johnson.