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How to make your home safe for young children | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


The home should be a safe place for children of all ages to relax and enjoy in.

Yet, it contains multiple objects that could be hazardous if left unattended to, such as furniture, batteries, medicine and detergents, as well as hot and sharp objects.

It’s important that parents and caregivers are properly attuned to the safety of children and provide the necessary supervision by childproofing the home.

This is so that common injuries like falls, burns and scalds, poisoning, drowning, strangulation and suffocation, can be avoided.

Note that at different ages, there will be different things to consider.

> Infants (one year old and below)

Safety should be a priority during bath time, bed time and feeding.

Babies need full supervision when they are being bathed, and water temperature is important too!

Bedding should be kept to a minimum – there’s no need for items such as pillows, comforters and stuffed toys, which could cause suffocation.

When babies are transported in cars, be sure to get an age-appropriate car safety seat.

Mobility from the age of six months onwards opens up the possibility of falls happening.

> Toddlers (one to three years old)

Now that they are able to walk and explore on their own, it’s vital that doorways to the kitchen, bathroom and garden are kept locked.

You can install a safety gate to prevent your toddler from walking up and down staircases.

Be sure not to leave any medication, detergents and other substances simply lying around the home, as that may prove hazardous to children.

> Pre-schoolers (four to six years old)

They will need to learn how to cope with traffic, playground equipment and strangers.

Even simple things like cycling and swimming can pose dangers.

At this stage, children must not just be supervised, but also taught how to stay safe.

Parents should always be a role model for safe behaviour and give them clear instructions.

Where possible, parents and caregivers should know basic first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), so that in the event of an emergency, they can be the first responders.

Here are some safety tips for around the home:

> Bedroom and hall

Keep appliance cords out of the reach, especially those connected to hot items such as irons, electric kettles, rice cookers or hair dryers.

Never leave an unconnected appliance cord plugged in and switched on (e.g. phone charger), and switch off all appliances when not in use.

> Bathroom

Install non-slip pads on the shower floor to prevent falls.

Bath time should always be supervised (children can drown in a matter of minutes).

Keep the toilet seat down and secure with a lock if possible, and also keep soaps and shampoos out of your child’s reach when not in use.

> Kitchen

Keep pot handles turned inwards toward the stove so that they cannot be pulled down easily, and store kitchen utensils appropriately.

Keep flammable objects away from hot surfaces, and have a fire extinguisher ready for emergencies.

Use a baby gate to keep babies and toddlers out.

> Garden

Store all pesticides and garden equipment safely.

Keep electrical equipment (e.g. lawn mower) and sharp objects away from your child’s reach.

Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail is a consultant paediatrician and paediatric cardiologist. This article is courtesy of the Malaysian Paediatric Association’s Positive Parenting programme in collaboration with expert partners. For further information, please email [email protected]. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only, and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

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