A person's home is always thought of as being one's castle, a sanctuary from the outside world, but did you know that every year in the U.K around two million children under the age of 15 are treated in A&E after having an accident at home. It is boys that are more likely to be injured and half a million of children admitted to A&E were younger than five.
Why are children more at risk of accidents at home?
Most children under the age of five have no concept of danger, they are unable to understand and perceive dangers in the environment around them. They also have less developed co-ordination and balance than older children.
What types of accidents do children have around the home?
The biggest cause of accidents in the home are;
- Falls, such as falling down the stairs, or falling from a table, yes kids get everywhere.
- Burns are another big cause of accidents which can result from fire and hot water, hot food being cooked in a saucepan etc.
- Choking, particularly on food items or small objects within a baby's reach.
- Poisoning through swallowing a harmful substance
How can accidents at home be avoided?
Although your entire home is full of potential hazards for children by paying particular attention to hot spot areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms and any staircases you can prevent accidents in your home.
Proper adequate adult supervision is key to preventing accidents, always be on the look out for anything that might pose a risk to your child's safety. But remember it is important for a child to be able to explore their surroundings.
Unfortunately with kids it is impossible to keep your eye on them all the time and ultimately accidents in your home involving children can never be completely eliminated but you can avoid them by employing a few key safety measures.
- Stairgates - Place these at the bottom and top of your stairs to prevent children climbing up and falling down. Stair gates can also be used to prevent access to the kitchen which is probably the most dangerous room in any house. Stairgates will also prevent children from getting upstairs into the bathroom unattended
- Ensure that your windows do not pose a risk by either keeping them locked or use a restrictor which prevents children from opening them and climbing out
- Cupboard child proof latches - these prevent children from opening certain cupboards enabling you to store hazardous items out of their reach
- Hoover regularly - This also allows you to keep an eye out for any small objects that could pose a choking hazard to small children
- To prevent choking, it is vital that you always supervise your child at mealtimes and ensure they are sat down when eating. Choking can occur when a toddler has food in their mouth whilst running around
- Keep your home tidy, this is much easier said than done when you have kids but keeping your home tidy ensures there will be less small objects lying around that could pose a choking hazard
You'll never be able to eliminate the risk of children having accidents in your home but there's a lot to do to ensure serious ones never occur. Remember, you're only human and children will always be accident prone but as long as you take all the necessary precautions you'll be fine.