preventing household childhood accidents


kids safety at home - stair gates

As your bold little explorer starts to become more mobile and discover their world, it’s time to baby-proof your home. With some thought and planning, you can do a lot to make sure that your child is safe.[1]

Here are some of the main hazards in the home, and our tips to prevent accidents:



1.

falling


  • when your baby starts to roll, be aware of surfaces they can suddenly wriggle off, like beds or changing tables
  • if you have stairs, it’s a good idea to get safety gates
  • think about your windows – do they lock? Are doors to any balconies kept locked shut?


2.

choking


  • a weaning baby is at risk of choking. Don’t leave them unattended, and chop slippery round foods like grapes
  • babies put things other than food in their mouths. Think about what may be lying around...
  • choose blinds that have a safety cord – looped cords can get caught around necks


3.

suffocating


  • nappy sacks within grabbing distance can be stuffed into inquisitive little mouths
  • babies don’t need pillows or duvets until they’re 12 months old. Don’t let them snuggle up with cuddly toys (or real pets) at night, however cosy they seem
  • be aware of duvets, cushions and other squashy things your baby could roll into


4.

burns and scalds


  • it’s not a good idea to hold a hot drink and your baby at the same time
  • keep cuppas, kettles, irons and pans well out of reach
  • use a thermometer to check bath temperature for your newborn[2]
  • fancy-dress costumes can be flammable – take care with candles and other flames
  • install a fire guard


5.

drowning


  • your little one needs constant supervision when they’re near water, even in the bath
  • if you have a pond, make it safe (maybe by fencing it off)
  • enjoy watching (or joining in!) with paddling pool fun, and empty it as soon as play has finished


6.

poisons


  • keep medicines, household cleaning products and garden chemicals locked away safely
  • when you’ve finished with any of these, dispose of them carefully
  • buy products in child-resistant packaging, and store them in their original containers
  • check whether your garden or house plants have poisonous leaves or berries


7.

glass-related accidents


  • before buying new windows or glass doors, check they’re made from safety glass (BS 6206)[3]
  • make existing glass safer by using shatter-resistant film (also good for glass-topped tables)
  • fence off your greenhouse if it doesn’t have safety glazing
  • remove and dispose of broken glass quickly and safely



References


[1]. Baby safety tips, NHS, February 2019

[2]. Bathing your baby safely, Baby Centre, April 2018

[3]. Technical Guidance - Marking of Safety Glass, NHBC, January 2016