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Child proof your home- is your home childsafe

Is your home safe?

No matter the age of your children it is imperative to ensure your home is a safe one. Most accidents in children under the age of 14 occur within the boundaries of the place in which we consider the safest place in the world, our homes. As parents we have the power to be prepared for any accident which may occur within the home.


Generally, when going through the home, take a look at the individual rooms from your child’s perspective, if this means crawling through the house, do so. Look at the furniture, electronic equipment, extension leads and electrical outlets. Arrange the furniture in a way that you will be able to see the children in all areas of a room. Look closely at floors as well, place rugs in high hazard areas, secure them using double sided tape, foam carpet backing or rubber padding. On hard slippery surfaces (e.g. Tiles) ensure that spills are cleaned up immediately.

The Kitchen

  • Always ensure that children are secure in high chairs, and never let a young child go into a kitchen unattended.
  • Keep children away from hot water taps.
  • Ensure all cutlery, plastic bags, lighters and matches are stored safely and out of reach from the children.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • When cooking try to use the back plates to cook with. Always turn the pot handles of cooking food turned into the back of the stove.
  • Keep hot liquid and food away from the edges of tables and counters.
  • Make sure that the children know how to react should their clothes catch on fire. I.e. Stop, Drop and Roll!
  • Store, small portable appliances and their cords safely out of the reach of children. Keep these appliances unplugged when not in use. Replace damaged cords and wires.
  • Never attempt to fix a damaged appliance yourself, always seek professional help.
  • Ensure that your high chair is secure and meets safety standards. It should have a lock tray as well as a safety belt or strap.

Recommended Safety products for your kitchen:

  • Ensure you have a safety gate on the kitchen door when you are cooking or distracted.
  • Small fire extinguisher.
  • Door stops.
  • Drawer and cabinet locks for lower cupboards and drawers.
  • Corner bumpers for sharp edges.
  • Outlet plugs( to place in open electrical outlets)


The Bathroom

  • Keep the bathroom floor dry. Ensure that you have rubber mats strategically placed over tiles.
  • Keep any and all electric appliances away from the bathtub, sinks and any sources of water.
  • Keep medication, cleaning products and any other poisonous products locked away, safely out of the reach of the children, even those which proclaim to have child resistant packaging.
  • Never leave young children alone in the bathroom, especially in the bath. Placing a non slip mat at the bottom of the bath is highly recommended.
  • Always test the temperature of bath water using your wrist or elbow before bathing a child. Contact a plumber to adjust your geysers temperature to 55 0C.
  • Install anti scalding devices.
  • Keep the toilet seat down when not in use and try to keep the bathroom door locked at all times.
  • Use rubber and slip resistant matting on tiles and in the bathtub to prevent slips and fall.
  • Recommended safety products in the bathroom:
  • The snug tub (available from www.4akid.co.za ) provides infants-toddlers a soft, padded and secure space to bathe and play.
  • Faucet protectors ensure children won’t come out of the bath with knocks and bruises. ( www.4akid.co.za )
  • Purchase a bath thermometer from a reliable children’s store.

Other recommended products include :

  • a toilet seat lock;
  • cabinet locks
  • bath railing
  • Ensure that you always have a full first aid kit available in the home.



The Bedroom/Nursery

Toy Safety:

  • Keep small toys, balls and balloons away from young children.

  • Make sure that Toy boxes have safety lids to avoid crushing young hands and fingers.

  • Avoid strings on toys and pacifiers. Check labels of toys to ensure that they are suitable to your child’s age group.

  • Examine toys for sharp edges and ensure that there are no small parts that can become a choking hazard. If it fits through a toilet roll your child can swallow it!

  • Ensure that the plastic bags and toiletries are kept out of the reach of children.

  • Ensure that your changing table is a sturdy one. There should be no loose or missing pieces.

Sleep Time Safety:

  • Ensure babies are always put to sleep o their backs on a firm, flat mattress. Do not use pillows, thick or soft comforters, pillow bumpers or other soft items in their cot.
  • Make sure your babies’ cot mattress fits the cot properly. Ensure that the spacing between slats under the cot are not more than 2 finger spaces wide.
  • If you are refurbishing an old cot, always use non-toxic paint.
  • Keep the cot placed away from windows, curtains or blinds.
  • Never use an electric blanket in your babies cot.
  • Remove mobiles from the child’s cot once your child can pull him or herself up.
  • Do not let your child sleep with you in your bed. Children have died because of their breathing being blocked by pillows, bedding and even their parents.
  • Never let your child sleep on a water bed, soft mattress or other soft surface.
  • Make sure that babies head is not covered during sleep. Consider using sleeping clothing or a sleeper as an alternative with blankets. If you are using a blanket, put your baby at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress letting the blanket reach only as far as the babies chest.

Recommended Safety Products:

  • Install smoke detectors in the room. Test them monthly and replace the batteries every 6 months.

  • There are a number of excellent sleeping wedges available to ensure a good nights rest for your infant.

  • Ensure you have a safety gate.

  • Use corner bumpers for sharp edges.

  • Install a baby monitor.

  • Install a good respiration monitor for infants

  • Outlet plugs( to place in open electrical outlets)

  • Ensure the doors are safe, using door stops

  • For older children, install a bed rail to ensure children do not fall out of bed.

On the Stairs

  • Install safety gates at both the top and bottom of stairs. This will ensure that you won’t be taking any trips to the hospital. Always be sure that both are locked and teach older children why it is so important to ensure that these gates are always locked.

  • Always make sure your staircase is clear of any clutter.

Recommended Safety products for the stairs:

  • Ensure you have a safety gate.

In the Car

  • All children under the age of 12 should be seated on the back seat.

  • Be sure that the children are properly restrained when driving, even when embarking on short journeys.

  • When choosing a car seat, be sure that you find one that is and size appropriate and fits in your car.

  • Always read the instruction manuals before installing the seat.

  • When a child grows out of their child safety seat, obtain a booster seat until they are tall enough for the seat belts to fit them properly. Children require a lap and shoulder belt, and a booster seat raises children up so that this combination fits properly.

General Safety Tips for your home

  • If you, or the people that care for your children, haven’t learnt first aid yet, join us for a pediatric first aid course or send your child care provider on the course. It could save your child’s life one day

  • Use safety plugs to cover any open electric outlets.

  • Use safety latches for cabinets, dvd players, rotating cabinets etc

  • Keep furniture away from windows.

  • Install window guards.

  • Make sure that there is adequate lighting in all areas of the home. Use non slip rugs to prevent children from falling. Make sure that carpets are secure, especially if the carpets or rugs are placed over tiles or slippery surfaces.

  • Never run electric wiring under a carpet, rug, radiator or heater, it can lead to fraying and an electrical hazard.

  • Unplug all extension cords when they are not being used. Never use appliances and cords that are damaged.

  • Eliminate sources of mold and dust. Keep your pets bedding clean and try to ensure that they do not climb on the furniture.

  • Avoid smoking inside the home.

  • Ensure that, should you keep firearms or ammunition in the home, you keep them separately and in an approved gun safe.

  • Keep a listing of emergency contact numbers in your area. Make sure you have contact numbers for the police, emergency room, local poison centre and fire station.

  • Don’t leave infants/toddlers alone on beds, changing tables or sofas

  • Always watch children around balconies and stairs

  • When opening windows, open those that the children cannot reach.

  • Do not use a baby walker, ever! Firstly baby walkers inhibit your child’s ability to learn to crawl and walk, secondly they are seriously dangerous. Thousands of children receive hospital treatment annually due to walker related injuries. The main injuries, and the worst ones are those were the child falls down the stairs whilst in the walker, it also allows infants to reach things they should not be able to reach.The biggest shock of all is that most of these injuries happen whilst the child is being monitored. Rather invest in a good stationary play table where you know what they can reach and know where they are.

  • Be vigilant and be on the constant look out for dangerous items which could endanger your children.

    • coins

    • marbles

    • watch batteries

    • pen or marker caps

    • cars with small rubber wheels that come off

    • small balls or foam balls that can be compressed to a size small enough to fit in a child's mouth

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