Kids will always be kids, so this article is not about how to stop your playful children from being playful, lively, or super active, but how to babyproof your home to make it accommodative to their playfulness or, in some cases, naughtiness.
The age of your kids also comes to play. So while you can reprimand your school-aged kids when their playing goes overboard, you cannot do the same with pre-scholars and toddlers who need nothing short of supervision.
One thing you can do is to make your home safe for your playful kids even when you are out running an errand. As a parent who appreciates the importance of child safety at home or anywhere else, the well-being of your
babies should second no other priority.
I have gone back and forth to find out the tricks that modern parents use to keep their children safe at home. It boils down to understanding the difference between safe and unsafe things at home.
How does Technology Helps Keep Children Safe at Home?
With the help of technology, hundreds of childproof products for baby safety at home have been designed. But I should stress that you are the most effective childproof gadget that your child needs to be entirely safe.
The worst you can do is close your eyes because you have installed all the necessary safety devices that your child needs to be safe.
With these tricks, you can thwart accidents as your children enjoy themselves. Children under five years old are more vulnerable when it comes to home accidents because they are yet to understand the dangers around them completely.
Annually, more than one million such children in the UK end up in the emergency hospital rooms after suffering injuries. As we will find out, all it requires to keep these children safe is a little care.
Before we proceed, remember that a first aid kit is a must for your home if you care about your family. Anything can happen, no matter how hard you try to avoid accident incidents. There is always room for “act of God”.
Common Safety Hazards Children Face at Home
These are the common safety hazards your children face at home and how to protect your children from them:
Did you know that drowning is the second most frequent cause of accidental baby deaths? Hundreds of these baby deaths occur in the garden ponds, swimming pools, kitchen sinks, rivers, water-filled buckets, bathtubs, and toilet bowls.
Most of these deaths occur when the parents are not so far away. I have heard of incidents when a baby quietly drowns in a bucket when the mother is just three or four meters away. It can happen when you are on the phone in the same room.
How to protect your baby from drowning:
Firstly, to protect your baby from drowning, ensure there are no water-filled buckets near your crawling toddler. The bathroom doors and the toilet lids should also be closed. The swimming pools should also be fenced, with a gate that has an alarm or a safety cover.
Drain the bathtubs and sinks dry after use. I would recommend that you rely on bath seats. It is only dependable as long as you are around. The toilet seats should also have locks.
If you are swimming or boating with your children, ensure they are all wearing floaters, just in case one child slips from your hands or the boat capsizes.
Electrocution or Electric Shock
Electric shock is your physical reaction or shock when electricity flows through your body. If the voltage is too high, you could due instantly, in which case it is called electrocution.
However, electrocution is mostly applied for those deliberately executed electric shock, usually seated on electric chairs.
Electrical appliances can cause a minor or fatal electric shock to your children. This can happen when the playing baby touches live wires or puts the loose extension cords in water, which in turn get charged.
How to Protect Your Baby from Electric Shock or Electrocution:
Ensure there are no loose, naked electric extensions within reach of your children. If possible, put all the electric attachments under the carpet if they have to run across the floor.
If this is not possible, the cords should run behind the seats or any household against the wall. This is necessary because while your extension cord may not have any exposed wires, the child can playfully suck or chew them until there are enough electrical leaks to harm them.
Moreover, make it a habit to unplug the electrical appliances that are not in use.
Scalds or burns
Scalding hot liquids is another danger your playful kindergarten children can be exposed to at home. Hot drinks such as soups or tea can cause severe burns.
In most cases, a crawling toddler is burned by a hot liquid after he reaches his hand to the tabletop and grabs whatever his tiny hand could touch.
In other cases, a child pulls a dangling appliance cord of a coffee maker, and the rest is history that runs into his future. I have seen a child innocently pull a tablecloth, with the rest of the items on the table.
When I was a baby, my mother herself unknowingly put me in too hot bathwater, assuming it was the right temperature.
I was later told that my sharp scream made her pluck me out fast enough, so I escaped with only minor blisters that healed after a week or so.
How to protect your baby from hot liquid burns:
To protect your baby from hot liquid burns, do not place hot drinks at the edges of tables where your baby can easily reach them. You should also be careful when you are holding a cup of some hot drink with your baby on your lap.
Babies are known to unexpectedly snatch anything fanciful within reach. Therefore if you are having a hot drink, you may have to put the baby away from you for a while.
If you, like my mother, are at times never too sure if the bathwater is hot enough, you can buy a floating thermometer that changes color depending on the water temperature.
There is a color for the right water temperature for bathing your baby. Many are designed to look like bath toys, so your baby will enjoy playing with one as you bath him.
There is this lovely yellow duck shaped baby bathwater thermometer, for instance. You can use it even in the swimming pool.
Falls top the list when it comes to the causes of baby accidents. While most baby falls are not fatal, I won’t advise you to take chances.
At short notice, babies can fall from beds, sofas, stairs, chairs, or on whichever high point you placed your baby. Children do climb, pass through and fall from windows too.
The child can also trip and fall after stumbling on a loose rug or something on his way.
How to prevent your little baby from falling:
To prevent your baby from falling, keep an eye on them if you have them on a high point. If they enjoy being on a high chair, you can strap him in the chair.
Never leave your baby alone for long on bed or sofa, even if he is asleep. Being asleep is not a guarantee your baby is not going to roll.
For your crawling, adventurous kids, you should have safety gates at the bottom and top of the stairs. Ensure your windows have guards. For windows without guards, use window stoppers so that the windows never open more than 3.5 inches. It also helps if you keep the baby’s bed away from windows.
Getting loose rugs and other trippers out of your baby’s way can also help prevent his fall.
Fire and smoke also cause hundreds of children accidents each year, especially for children aged five years and below. To imitate what he saw you doing, your child can strike a match or the lighter, starting a small fire, which soon gets hold of the newspaper, the curtain, the tablecloth.
Young children are known to try lighting a cigarette. I tried that when I was a child.
How to prevent your baby from causing fires:
To prevent your baby from causing fires, you should keep lighters and matches out of his reach, to begin with. It also helps to keep flammable liquids like gasoline out of the house, or at least out of your kid’s space.
After smoking your cigarettes, dispose the leftovers properly and store the unused sticks away from your curious child.
Since you may not be able to prevent the causes of fire entirely, you should have a fire extinguisher at home to stop a small fire before it gets out of control.
Installing smoke detectors also goes a long way in helping you deal with a fire outbreak. I advise you to go for the smoke alarms that comply with BS 5446-1.
Here is one of the reliable and advanced Kidde smoke and carbon monoxide alarm to use in your home to help keep your children safe. It has a loud voice warning.
Self-Shooting with a gun
Nine out of ten gun-related child deaths happen at home. If you own a long gun or a pistol, bear in mind that a sees it as a toy. He may want to climb the long rifle, if you leave it leaning against the wall or table.
If the gun is loaded, all it will take for the baby to self-destruct is to step on the trigger while climbing. Remember that the baby can also shoot you instead so your life is also at stake here.
How to protect your baby from self-inflicted gunshots:
To protect your baby from self-inflicted gunshots, for one, do not keep your gun while loaded. Unload the bullets from the gun then keep the two separately. Better still, lock the gun in a cabinet.
Children want to have a taste of everything. Children eat cosmetics, soil, cotton, flowers, cloths, bottle tops, pens, and even their own toys. Unfortunately, children are eventually going to consume poison if they can have access to it.
Most poisons I have seen have “keep away from the reach of children” on the labels. Poisoning also involves overdosing when a child finds medicine and decides to take more than enough.
Children aged five years or slightly above tend to like trying to treat themselves when they fall sick when home alone.
Okay, some children mistake medicine for sweets. The forbidden fruits tend to look desirable. In the same breath, do not plant poisonous plants in your back or front yard where children can pluck them and taste. Some plants have toxic flowers, yet the children generally love flowers.
Lead poisoning is not the leading cause of poisoning, but it is real. Lead poison leads to behavioral complications and learning problems.
Therefore, remove paint chips away from children for they contain lead in varying degrees. Old water pipes are other sources of lead.
How to prevent your children from taking poison:
To prevent your children from accidentally taking poison, you primarily keep the poison from them, or them from the poison.
Still on eating: children would want not only to put anything in their mouth, but also to swallow whatever they consider swallow-worth.
These include coins, bottle tops, marbles, pins, rubber bands, threads, a piece of polythene, etc. They can choke while trying to swallow any of these.
However, children can also choke while eating the right things like popcorns, candy, chewing gums, etc.
How to protect your child from choking:
To protect your baby from choking, you should either never let her play with items she can easily swallow or be on the guide when she is playing. Once she is done playing, collect the small-sized toys and keep them. You should ensure there are no such items around.
Cuts and Pinches
Children do not know that if they put the fingers in the door hinges, they will be cut or pinched if the door slams on the fingers. They neither understand what cut scissors, staplers, nail-cutter, razor blade, or knife may cause.
Your playful older kids may also throw objects at the window glass or mirror, breaking the glasses. In their attempt to clean up things, they end up with cuts.
How to protect your child from cuts or pinches:
To protect your child from cuts or pinches, simply keep sharp objects or utensils away from her. It would be best to buy door hinge protectors or door slam protectors to save your child’s fingers.
There are also transparent, no-tint films you can stick on your window glasses so that should the glasses break, they won’t shatter into pieces, which can cause deep cuts.
While falling from a high bed or something, your child’s neck could be entangled in some cord, wire, or cloth piece. The result could be the constriction of the air passage, better known as strangulation.
To babyproof your child from strangulation, first, keep him from falling, then ensure there are no loosely hanging cords, ropes, etc. around his bed.
Your toddler can also be suffocated by good things such as a pillow, large teddy bear doll, and sofa cushions.
A cat loves to sleep with the babies, but at times these well-meaning pets pose a risk, for a cat can sleep right on the baby’s nose, suffocating him to death. Plastic bags have also killed children by suffocation.
How to Protect Your Baby from Suffocation:
To protect your baby from suffocation, you need to clear the hazards that pose the most significant risks. If your baby must sleep on a sofa, ensure the plump cushions are not in a position to fall on your baby’s face.
Get rid of all plastic bags that are likely to cause harm. A child can wear a plastic bag over the head, not knowing the risks involved.
If your large cat must sleep with the baby, let there be a net to separate the two.
Children love to push and pull things. If you lean a bicycle on the wall, they may want to stand, using it as support. A child would also attempt to pull down the TV up from its stand to play with it down on the floor! Even a chair or a stool can fall on the baby.
To protect your baby from falling objects, you need to be nearby your baby most of the time, in this case. You cannot all the time rely on gadgets to protect your baby.
Other steps you can take are to ensure that you have wall straps to hold the heavy households like TV, cabinet, and other furniture that forms the wall unit.
Over to You
Now, playful kids will once in a while suffer minor injuries in the form of bruises. These are normal, as long as your adventurous kids remain playful. So I’m not about to tell you how to prevent even these bruises.
Incurring these bruises might help your kid understand what pain is, thus stay away from situations they judge (with their developing minds) could result in significant pains.
As cheeky Mark Twain said, a cat that has sat on a hot stove will not be willing to sit on another stove again, even a cold stove.
So, always keep an eye on your toddler. Five minutes is a very long time to forget about your playing toddler, so be vigilant. Secondly, move with your baby in a baby carrier if you are going to another scene for more than five minutes.
Keep your first-aid kit fully equipped with supplies just in case an accident happens. In fact, teach your kids to use some of the basic first aid items. May these child safety tips keep your children safer.