Keeping your kids safe at home is a source of constant worry for most parents. Toddlers are, by nature, extremely inquisitive and fascinated by the world around them, making the challenge of keeping them safe from harm even more difficult.
From a bubbling saucepan to detergent bottles or even power outlets, the common household offers a world of exploration for an adventurous, questioning mind.
Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to make your home safe for your children by taking some basic precautions – but the first step is recognising the danger areas to help stop accidents from happening.
Here are the most common household accidents involving children.
The danger of taking falls in the home
Falls are the most common cause of injury at home amongst children, accounting for around 44% of all accidents. Unfortunately, in the UK, as many as ten children die per year from accidents involving a fall (mostly from stairs, windows or balconies).
The vast majority of falls take place on the same level and mostly involve relatively harmless injuries. The problems arise when a child falls from one level to another e.g. from a high chair or bed. Injuries becomes yet more serious when the child falls from a greater height. Also, children can be injured by items falling (or being pushed/pulled) onto them. For example, children often climb open drawers, only for the whole unit to topple onto them.
Risks posed by fires
There are several reasons for domestic fires, including cooking accidents, cigarettes and faulty electrical wiring. With children, the most common cause is playing with matches or lighters but you should also be sure to secure power outlets and have your home’s wiring checked. Companies such as AVA Electrical Services can perform a thorough inspection of your existing electrical appliances and wiring to advise of any suggested changes in order to improve the safety of your children.
Burns or scalding
Children have considerably more sensitive skin than grown-ups, making them susceptible to scalds and burns from items that, as an adult, you might not perceive as a risk. For example, a hot drink can burn a child 15 minutes after being made – despite feeling only tepid to an adult. Also, hot bath water is one of the leading causes of scalding accidents among children. It’s estimated around 500 under-fives receive hospital treatment every year as a result of overly hot bath water. Open fires, hot haircare equipment, cookers, lighters and matches also pose a risk.
Poisoning through substances
Over 28,000 kids in the UK receive medical attention as a result of poisoning every year. Typical household items that can cause poisoning in children include medicines, detergents, cleaning products and cosmetics. Always keep these products out of the reach of children, in a secure childproof cabinet.
Choking and suffocation accidents
Babies and very young children are particularly at risk from choking or suffocation, since they explore and examine their surroundings by putting objects in their mouths. You should always be aware of the dangers posed by items like peanuts, small toys, marbles and breakable toy parts. Always check the security certification of children’s toys and buy items appropriate for your child’s age.