As parents who've lived to tell the tale, we thought it was high time we shared some essential advice on baby and child-proofing your home. Knowledge is power, folks...
Now we don’t want to freak you out, but as seasoned parents here at HoneyKids, believe us when we say you can help save your family from an emergency situation by child-proofing your home before your baby becomes mobile. But we get it: knowing how to child-proof is easier said than done as it’s hard to predict what children’s capabilities are until they’re actually rolling off the sofa or reaching for hot or sharp items on the kitchen bench! For a start, get down to your child’s eye level and look for potential danger zones around the house. There is no substitute for adult supervision, but some accidents do happen right in front of an adult, or the second you turn your back…
Here are some of the most common accidents and suggestions on ways to prevent serious injury. Use this as a guide only, and stay on the look-out for other potential hazards in your home. Kids will always find a way to mischief!
- Install safety guards across the top and bottom of stairs, and to the entry of kitchens, bathrooms, and balconies doors, or to keep toddlers our of areas of the house or condo that are unsafe.
- Always supervise your child on stairs and balconies, even if you have guards.
- Lock windows or shield them with firmly attached window guards so your child can’t fall out.
- Leave a hall light on at night, or use sensor lights to make it easier for older children to get to the toilet without tripping over.
- Install Invisigrills (thin, sturdy wires) around the balcony to prevent children climbing over the balustrades.
- We’ve come across a really cool product for balcony safety called Anti Grabbity: essentially a strip of little spikes adhered to the top of the balcony railing to deter little fingers from exploring and climbing over the top! This is not a substitute for Invisigrills, but, as it can be installed within a few minutes without the help of a handyman, is a good solution whilst you wait for the Invisigrills to be installed. Cost effective, no condo or landlord permission required and can be reused. It’s a no brainer!
- Use the back burners on the stove first. Turn handles on pots and pans towards the back of the stove, and consider installing an oven heat guard.
- Install a guard around the hot plates on your stove.
- Ensure kettle and bottle warmer cords don’t hang down within reach of your child and consider using electrical cord shorteners.
- Keep a close watch on children while the barbecue is heating up, being used or cooling down. Some barbecues can keep their heat for hours.
- House fires can start in so many ways – smoke alarms aren’t a given here in Singapore homes, so speak to your landlord as it’s worth getting them installed.
- Do an audit of all your cosmetics, medicines and cleaning products and get rid of any unnecessary or expired products.
- Store chemicals and medicines up high in a locked cupboard or cabinet.
- Put a child-safety latch on the doors of cupboards where you keep household poisons.
What to do if you suspect poisoning: phone your paediatrician or emergency hospital, you can also Drugs & Poison at 6423 9119 in the case of non-emergencies; or the Australian Poison Information line on +61 131 126. If you suspect an emergency call 995 or head to your nearest emergency hospital.
- Keep plush toys, pillows, loose clothing, blankets and wraps out of cots and prams. Babies can become wrapped and entangled in loose blankets and cotton wraps.
- Wrap the cords of window blinds in cleats attached to the wall at least 1.6 m above the floor, and remove curtain ties that are not in use.
- Tie knots in plastic bags, and keep them away from children.
Products we love: Blind cord cleats can be purchased at Spotlight.
- Always give babies and toddlers under five your full attention around water. Put away your phone!
- Know that babies and toddlers can drown in only 5cm of water. Toilet bowls, cleaning buckets and cooler boxes (with water from melted ice) are all drowning hazards. Empty buckets and drain baths immediately after use, and install locks for toilet lids.
Products we love: Toilet lid guards.
- Use power plug covers over power outlets to prevent electrocution, and turn appliances like toasters and kettles off at the source when not in use.
- Use shatter-proof film over glass in glass cabinets.
- Put stickers on glass at eye level – we’ve all heard stories of children (and adults) walking into glass doors and getting hurt.
- Be aware of, and remove or secure any small items that could become a choking hazard. Yes, your older child’s Lego is a choking hazard, so put those tiny pieces away.
- Have an emergency plan on the fridge, know where your nearest emergency clinic is and your after hour medical clinics.
- Make sure your have a well equipped and easily accessible first aid kit.
- Do a CPR course, and print out a resuscitation reminder chart for children and infants.
You’ve got this, parents.
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