The home is the primary sanctuary of children.
It is where they are nurtured and cared for so they can grow to their fullest potential.
But, did you know that while the home is supposed to be a safe haven for these little human beings, it also poses a risk to their health and lives as a whole?
Accidents in the home setting lead to child injuries, preventable disabilities, or worse, deaths. On average, for kids under the age of five, a study shows that 55 children die each year due to these unintentional occurrences happening inside their homes.
Everyday, children (especially those whose ages range from infancy to toddler years) are prone to a plethora of dangers that can ironically be found in the comfort of your own home. Some areas are obviously danger-prone while others remain inconspicuous, yet they are equally harmful.
And while it is always a good option to keep emergency contact numbers and be prepared with first-aid, limiting exposure to and prevention will always be a better idea.
From broken bones, swollen limbs, to more serious consequences like a concussion or even death, where do you start scanning your abode to prevent these potential risks from occurring?
- Windows, doors, and stairways
Discreet yet potentially dangerous, your home’s windows, doors, and stairways are a threat to your child’s safety, especially the little ones. Minor untoward incidents, like getting their hands or feet jammed in the spaces in between, arising from these areas remain to be a cause for concern. As are alarming and serious ones like falling off windows located on higher floor levels, strangulation caused by window blind cords, or tripping and falling down a flight of stairs.
- Kitchen and dining area
The kitchen and dining area also present a full-range of household hazards for your little one. From the danger of burns and an oven or stove catching fire, children run the risk of getting hurt in these areas, especially when they sneak past adult supervision. Your kitchen counters and cupboards are also unsafe spaces, as sharp and pointy objects like knives as well as poisonous chemicals await innocent hands that might reach out and grab them.
The dining area is another danger zone to watch out for. Every year, many children are endangered, commonly by choking on food or getting exposed to food allergens.
- Bathroom and/or Pool area
Water, whether in the bathtub or your swimming pool, presents another peril for children in your home. Aside from the apparent risk of drowning, there’s also the painful possibility of getting scalded when the temperature of prepared baths go beyond safe levels. Medicine cabinets in bathroom areas may also harbor harm especially when they are easily within children’s reach.
Other rooms in your home are not exempt from child safety risks.
In the bedroom, beds with no side railings may become fall hazards to younger tots. While a small toy in the playroom can evolve from being a mere nuisance to a choking hazard in a snap. Button batteries also threaten your child’s safety, seeing as how many children get treated in hospital emergency departments for ingesting these deadly objects.
Moving to the living room, your child may also encounter loose cords that may cause them to trip and stumble. Electrical sockets and power outlets also attract a child’s eye and quietly entice them towards further danger. Other common causes for concern involve lit candles (especially those found on low tables) that may cause a fire and plastic bags lying around that may cause suffocation.
Last but not the least in terms of child safety concerns is the driveway.
Perhaps one of the most horrific things that can happen is for your child to get into a car accident. Definitely even worse, if it occurs in your home.
Sadly, however, children as young as one year old toddlers (and even those as old as seven years of age) have been involved in this kind of car accident. And whether the child was run over by a car reversing, or due to the inadvertent release of a handbrake, accidents like these in your driveway are undeniably traumatic.
Time and again, parents, relatives, and other caregivers have been given advice on how to keep children in close supervision. And this cannot be even more true where cars, driveways, and blind spots are in the mix.
Parents and loved ones cannot absolutely eliminate all forms of harm, but they can always do their best and prevent avoidable ones, especially those that many have raised awareness about so as to protect children.
At the end of the day, as with any fundamental right, child safety should be upheld for every child. Whether the route is to create a more child-friendly layout in the home or to help children be more aware of these hazardous household areas, vigilance is expected of us adults if we are to make child safety a priority.
Need more help?
Enroll in our Learning First Aid and Safety Practices for Our Homes online course for free.
Keep your home safe, be the Knight of Safety for your children.